A new study has reported that preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can improve surgical planning for women with lobular breast cancer. The retrospective study included 92 patients with invasive lobular breast cancer who underwent preoperative breast MRI. The authors first determined whether surgical procedures were revised due to the MRI findings. Such a change occurred in 23 of the patients. Typical changes were larger lumpectomy than originally planned or using mastectomy where breast conserving surgery had been planned. In cases of changes in surgical approach, analysis was performed to determine whether the change was adequate (or excessive) based on the postoperative pathology findings.

Based on the pathology findings, the change in surgery was considered adequate for 20 of the 23 patients. Overtreatment occurred for three women who underwent unnecessary mastectomies as a result of their MRI results. Patients with larger tumors appeared to benefit the most from preoperative breast MRI. The authors conclude that women with lobular breast cancer might benefit from a preoperative MRI.