FAST Breast MRI
A Proactive Option to Supplement Breast Cancer Screening
Cape Cod Healthcare was the first healthcare system in the state to offer the pioneering technology of First post-contrast Acquisition SubTracted (FAST) Breast MRI, an abbreviated and less-expensive version of a breast MRI. Like a conventional MRI, this method uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field to provide a detailed view of breast tissue, detecting tissue abnormalities, as well as vascular function within the breast which can show blood flow to and from a tumor. It is a self-pay option (cost is $450) for women who do not meet criteria for a standard breast MRI, due to less than 20% lifetime risk of breast cancer, who would like an additional level of screening. FAST Breast MRI may not be right for everyone and traditional mammograms remain a viable option for women in accordance with their doctor’s advice.
Benefits of a FAST Breast MRI
- FAST MRI can be performed as an extra level of screening in between routine mammograms or as a companion screening to a routine mammogram. It is a good tool to detect small tumors that may not be visible on a mammogram.
- It provides additional layer of testing for women who are diagnosed as having dense breast tissue.
- FAST MRI can be instrumental in revealing particularly aggressive cancers. It detects tumors that are vascular and can grow quickly in between annual mammograms.
- The testing process takes under 5 minutes, compared to 40 minutes of a traditional MRI, is radiation-free and painless.
- Results are received within 48 hours. An abnormal FAST breast MRI result will be followed up with a diagnostic conventional MRI.
Locations Offering FAST Breast MRI
For your convenience, FAST Breast MRI is available through our Women’s Health Centers:
Both FAST and conventional breast MRI are conducted utilizing a 3 Tesla MRI scanner (the most powerful FDA-approved scanning available south of Boston) at Cuda Women’s Health Center in Hyannis and a 1.5T MRI scanner at Falmouth Hospital.
Cape Cod Women’s Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Fund
This special fund assists with covering the cost of screening not covered by health insurance, including:
- 3D Mammography
- FAST Breast MRI
- Genetic testing
For more information, please call (508) 957-1623.