Brattleboro Memorial Hospital today announced the addition of breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and genetics risk evaluation to the services offered by its Comprehensive Breast Care Program.

Both breast MRI and genetics risk evaluation services play a valuable role in identifying people who are at high risk for breast cancer.  To ensure the quality of both services, BMH has partnered with ProScan Imaging, a radiology group that specializes in MRI interpretation, and with City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Both groups have extensive knowledge in their respective areas of expertise.

The capability to determine whether patients are at high risk for breast cancer will improve the hospital’s ability to offer support services for early diagnosis and treatment within the community. But while these tests are helpful in determining what testing is appropriate for each individual, BMH Comprehensive Breast Care Program Administrator and Nurse Navigator Kelly McCue says breast MRI and genetics testing should not be considered a replacement for annual mammographic screening.

“Breast MRI and genetics risk evaluation are used as adjuncts for further evaluation of an abnormality, or to assess personal or family risk factors,” says McCue. “Mammographic screening is recommended for all women annually from age 40 by both the American College of Radiology and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

The Comprehensive Breast Care Program at BMH is a collaborative group of professionals including staff from Imaging, Nursing, Oncology, Pathology and Surgery, among others. This unique collaboration, which utilizes a nurse navigator to coordinate and ‘guide’ a patient through their care, ensures that patients referred for evaluation or who have a diagnosis of breast cancer can be assured their visit and plan of care is individualized for the best possible outcome.