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QUINCY, IL – Quincy Medical Group (QMG) recently began offering Breast MRIs utilizing 3T MRI technology, providing local patients with more advanced imaging.

In 2019, QMG announced the addition of a 3T MRI machine, the SIGNA™ Pioneer from GE Healthcare, which creates the highest-quality images currently available. QMG is the only facility in the local area to offer 3T imaging technology and just recently expanded the MRI program to include breast imaging.

QMG Radiologist Dr. Robert Haag is fellowship-trained in Breast Imaging Radiology and said the 3T MRI provides detailed imaging, allowing for more accurate diagnoses of breast cancers at their earliest stages.

“3T stands for ‘3 Tesla,’ which is the strength of the magnetic field in an MRI machine. In general, the higher the ‘T,’ the higher the image quality,” he explained. “A 3T also provides a greater ‘Signal to Noise’ ratio, which is a key determinant in generating the best image quality.”

A Breast MRI is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging, but rather a supplemental tool to traditional screening methods. Breast MRI may be used to screen women at high risk for breast cancer, evaluate the extent of cancer following diagnosis, or further evaluate abnormalities seen on mammography.

“A screening mammogram is most often used for women, however, if there is concern based on that mammogram, our radiology team may order an ultrasound,” Dr. Haag explained. “For some women, after those two steps, further evaluation is needed and that is when 3T MRI technology is utilized.”

If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, the 3T MRI is effective in determining the extent of the disease.

“After being diagnosed with breast cancer, a breast MRI may be performed to determine how large the cancer is and whether it involves the underlying muscle, if there are other cancers in the same breast, and whether there is an unsuspected cancer in the opposite breast,” Dr. Haag said.

Dr. Haag said routine breast cancer screening is important. To understand their screening needs, patients should speak to their primary care providers or obstetricians/gynecologists. For more information on the QMG Women’s Health Center, visit https://quincymedgroup.com/medical-services/obgyn/ or call (217) 222-6550, ext. 3437.