What to Know Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S. and the most treatable form of cancer, but the cost of the latest MRI scanners could be the difference between living and dying.
What you need to know about breast cancer:How breast cancer is diagnosedWhat is the latest imaging technology for breast cancer?
Who should get an MRI scan?
Why is breast cancer more treatable than other cancers?
Are there ways to get a breast cancer scan at a fraction of the cost?
What you should know about MRI scannersThe first scan for a breast scan is typically performed when a woman gets her first cancer diagnosis.
That can be at a doctor’s office, a doctor-run clinic or a private practice.
It usually takes two hours and costs around $1.50.
For a more accurate breast cancer diagnosis, women should have their breast tissue examined with an MRI, which costs around a tenth of that.
MRI machines typically cost $1 to $2,000, according to The Medical Imaging and Diagnostics Association of America.
The most recent imaging technology to get to the point where the cost to get an accurate diagnosis has dropped is the ultrasonic breast cancer machine.
It uses ultrasound to look for abnormal tissue in the breast.
Ultrasound scans have become increasingly popular, but they’re still pricey, so you have to pay extra to get one.
A more affordable option is the breast cancer implant, which uses lasers to look through tissue to get the information needed to diagnose the disease.
There are several reasons why breast cancer scans are so expensive, said Dr. Stephen L. Nussbaum, a professor of radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Andrew W. Mellon Center for Radiology and Imaging Science at Johns Hopkins.
“The first thing you have is the fact that the imaging technology has gotten better,” he said.
“We’ve learned how to make these more accurate and more accurate with better technology.”
Dr. Nussianbaum added that ultrasound has become more accurate over time, but that’s not the same as getting a complete picture of breast cancer.
“I think the important thing is the whole breast is in the scanner,” he told ABC News.
“When you’re looking for the cancer, it’s almost like looking at a tumor.”
Nussbaum said the best way to avoid having to pay more for a scan is to get imaging services from a reputable doctor or hospital.
He said this may require the patient to pay an extra fee.
“You could ask your insurance company, and you might be able to negotiate an out-of-pocket amount,” he added.
But if you’re willing to wait for an MRI in a private clinic, the cost is likely to be less than $100.
The MRI is also more expensive than the ultrasound, which typically costs between $500 and $2.5, according the National Institute of Health.
The Johns Hopkins Health System said it can’t comment on specific patients, but it has been using a private ultrasound company since at least 2012.
In that case, the company was able to get access to a more expensive scanner and has increased the price.
Nussbach said it is important to get mammograms.
But the scan for breast breast cancer also is a crucial step in the process, he said, because it is the only way to determine whether a patient has the disease and whether they have cancer in the future.
“If they don’t get a mammogram, they’re at risk of dying of cancer,” he explained.