UTAH (ABC4) – As Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins Saturday, Intermountain Healthcare is shining a light on the issue by unveiling a new screening option that is expected to save more lives. 

Representatives of Intermountain say they have begun calling on Utah women to get their annual, potentially life-saving screenings, especially since many have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic. 

In the past, it has been common for women with dense breast tissue to undergo routine sonograms along with mammograms, as dense breast tissue can make it “more difficult for mammograms to detect abnormalities,” Intermountain Healthcare explains. 

In an effort to create ease around an already stressful and uncomfortable process, Intermountain has announced their newest option for breast cancer screenings: the abbreviated MRI. This new technology reportedly uses a “normal magnetic resonance imaging machine already in hospitals,” to scan the breasts within about 10 minutes. Intermountain is pleased to share that this option costs much less compared to the alternative scanning procedures. 

The organization shares that this more sensitive scan caters to women who are considered high-risk for breast cancer. The abbreviated MRI is said to catch signs of breast cancer earlier than both sonograms and mammograms.

Intermountain has dubbed the new tool as the most powerful option for early prevention, as they note it can pick up twice as many cancers as a mammogram.