For some women, an annual breast MRI is recommended. This does not replace an annual mammogram, and usually means that the two screening tests are staggered, so that a test happens every six months. MRIs are not routinely recommended for everyone, and are generally suggested for women who are at particularly high risk (e.g. carry one of the BRCA mutations, have had more than one primary breast cancer, etc.). Since my second breast cancer, I have followed this schedule, and, although I surely don't enjoy it, always feel a sense of relief when the test is over and the report is good. FYI: the machine used for breast MRI has you lying on your stomach, so the claustrophobic feeling of other MRIs is not relevant.
This is an article from ASCO about the value and recommended use of breast MRIs.
Breast MRI for Early Detection of Breast Cancer
Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a procedure being studied more frequently for its role in detecting breast cancer, including the diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and contralateral breast cancer (breast cancer in the opposite breast) at the time of a first breast cancer occurrence. DCIS is a preinvasive form of breast cancer. Nearly all invasive ductal breast cancers are thought to develop from precancerous lesions (areas of abnormal tissue) seen in DCIS. The high-grade form of DCIS grows quickly and is more likely to develop into invasive breast cancer. Mammography is the standard method for diagnosing DCIS, which accounts for 20% of diagnosed breast cancers. Although the early results of breast MRI studies are encouraging, breast MRI should not be used as a substitute for mammography for women at average risk for breast cancer. However, it may be an additional tool to screen for breast cancer in women at high risk for developing the disease.
Recommendations for breast cancer screening
Guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend breast MRI and mammography yearly beginning at age 30 for women at high risk for breast cancer. This population includes women who meet at least one of these criteria:
Known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
Strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer.