Breast cancer

New MBS items available for breast cancer PET and MRI imaging

New MBS items will be available from 1 November for 18F-FDG PET imaging and breast MRI for the diagnosis and evaluation of breast cancer.

Two new MBS items (61524 and 61525) will cover whole body 18F-FDG PET study for the staging of locally advanced (Stage III) breast cancer and for the evaluation of suspected metastatic or suspected locally or regionally recurrent breast carcinoma in a patient considered suitable for active therapy.

According to the Department of Health, about 12,000 patients will benefit from the new PET imaging MBS services each year..

And four new MBS items for Breast MRI will be available for the diagnosis of breast cancer where other imaging is inconclusive, and for treatment planning for breast cancer where an earlier diagnostic imaging result is inconsistent with the clinical assessment.

The items 6351 (K) and 6352 (K) will be for MRI of both breasts where the patient has a breast lesion, the results of conventional imaging examinations are inconclusive for the presence of breast cancer, and biopsy has not been possible.

The items 63533 (K) and 63534 (K) are for where the patient has been diagnosed with breast cancer, discrepancy exists between clinical assessment and conventional imaging assessment, and the results of breast MRI may alter treatment planning.

The new PET and MRI items may be requested by specialists or consultant physicians, not GPs. It is estimated that 14,000 patients will benefit from the breast MRI services each year.

The listing of these services on the MBS was recommended by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) in November 2018.

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