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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Be Well

Breast MRI may yield unnecessary surgery

Older women diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to get a mastectomy, even having the healthy breast removed, if they’ve undergone a magnetic-resonance imaging test, according to a Yale University study. The findings suggest that women are undergoing potentially unnecessary procedures, the authors wrote.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine tracked the use of breast MRI and surgical care of more than 70,000 women ages 67 to 94 on Medicare who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2009. During that time, the use of MRI before surgery increased from 1 percent to 25 percent of patients.

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