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International Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 428653, 6 pages
Review Article

Effect of Magnetic Resonance Imaging on Breast Conservation Therapy versus Mastectomy: A Review of the Literature

Division of Surgical Oncology, Dewitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Surgical Oncology 310T, 1475 NW 12th Avenue, Suite 3550, Miami, FL 33136, USA

Received 25 October 2010; Revised 21 December 2010; Accepted 24 February 2011

Academic Editor: Steven N. Hochwald

Copyright © 2011 Thomas J. Painter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The utilization of MRI in the workup of breast cancer has played a controversial role in the surgical treatment of this disease. With the higher resolution of breast tissue afforded, additional lesions are being identified that often warrant additional procedures, subsequently affecting the decision to proceed with breast conservation therapy versus mastectomy. In this paper, a literature review is presented to help illuminate some of the benefits and pitfalls of employing MRI as a diagnostic tool in the care of breast cancer, while additionally providing insight into the management alterations this imaging modality can engender. Though further research is required in a randomized prospective form to fully answer this question, evidence for and against its use continues to mount, especially for select patient groups.