Importance of Cancer Dection by Breast MRI in High-Risk Patients Emphasized by Intermountain Health

Industry: Health & Fitness

Actress Olivia Munn’s breast cancer announcement highlights importance of breast MRI in detecting cancer in high-risk patients, according to Intermountain Health experts.

Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) June 12th, 2024

The announcement last week that actress Olivia Munn underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer is highlighting the important use of a breast MRI in detecting cancer in women who are high risk of developing the disease. Munn announced she had an annual mammogram last year which came back negative, but due to a survey result which found her to be at higher risk of developing breast cancer, her doctor recommended a breast MRI.

An MRI scan can better detect issues through dense breast tissue, and for Munn, doctors discovered she had a mass in her breast which turned out to be cancerous.

“Olivia Munn’s story is a great example of how being vigilant about your health and early detection can be a game changer,” said Eugene Kim, MD, medical director of Intermountain Health’s Breast Care Center in Murray. “Abbreviated breast MRI is another tool which is becoming more easily available to patients and is a big step in the fight against breast cancer.”

Women who receive their annual mammogram at Intermountain Health take this survey before their mammogram with the hope of determining possible increased risks based on several factors. Those women who are deemed to have increased risks may benefit from additional screenings.

The Tyrer-Cuzick questionnaire is a risk assessment calculator that measures a woman’s 10-year and lifetime risk for developing breast cancer based on family medical history, density of breast tissue, and genealogy.

Women who score a 20 or higher on their assessment are considered to be at high risk for breast cancer. It also makes them eligible for a FAST MRI breast scan, which is more sensitive and better at detecting issues in the breast tissue.

Linda Campbell was one of the women who used the test and found she qualified for a FAST MRI because of dense breast tissue and a family history of breast cancer. Once she had the scan done doctors discovered she had early-stage breast cancer which wasn’t noticeable on her mammogram.

“I had just barely tested over and wasn’t sure if I needed the FAST MRI but decided to do it and I’m glad I did,” said Campbell. “Had the small tumor removed and had 15 treatments of radiation and never needed chemo because we caught it early.”

Campbell is also the process control coordinator for MRI services at Intermountain Health. She’s a part of the effort to expand the FAST MRI services to more hospitals.

FAST MRI only takes 10 minutes and costs considerably less than a traditional MRI screening. This year, the service has expanded from Intermountain Medical Center to include McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, American Fork Hospital, Park City Hospital, Savier Valley Hospital, Saratoga Springs Hospital, Heber Valley Hospital, and St. George Regional Hospital.

Doctors say breast MRI scans won’t replace the need for an annual mammogram because those screenings can still detect some cancers better.

In the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Survival rates have increased dramatically in recent decades thanks to increases in annual screenings.

To schedule a screening mammogram, call 801-906-2700, or visit

To see some questions from the Intermountain questionnaire, click here.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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