MRI for Cancer: Everything You Need to Know
Getting an MRI scan, or magnetic resonance imaging scan, can seem a little bit daunting at first. You may feel nervous or unsure of what to expect when you go in for your MRI. After all, an MRI scan can turn up signs of cancer and other internal diseases.
However, a great way to quell any worries you might have about an MRI scan is to learn as much as you can before you go. That way, you’ll have few surprises when you go in for the procedure. It can also help to read up on why MRI scans can be beneficial for your health, and strategize your actions for after you get the results from your scan.
The importance of getting a full-body MRI
Getting a full-body MRI is a great way to rule out or diagnose several things at once. It can scan your whole body to detect things like spinal cord injuries and issues, kidney diseases, various types of cancer, and residual damages from episodes like heart attacks.
Of course, if you are more concerned about one part of you body, such as your lungs, you may want to consider getting a specific MRI for that area, like a lung cancer MRI. This option can be especially beneficial if you know that you’re more likely to develop lung cancer from a smoking habit or family history.
Most diseases are best caught early in their development. If you have an MRI body scan and find something wrong in its early stages, there is a higher likelihood that your treatment will be effective. It was found that cancer survival rates were three times higher among cases where the cancer had an early diagnosis. That makes a full body MRI scan sound much more appealing.
What to expect when you get an MRI
When you undergo an MRI scan, it’s important to be prepared for the process. You will be required to take out all jewelry, since an MRI uses magnets as part of the imaging process. For this reason, it’s also important to alert your doctor or radiologist if you have a pacemaker or other magnetic implant.
As for how long you will be in the MRI scanning machine, it depends on the part of the body being scanned. For a full body scan, you can typically expect to be there for an hour. However, if you are getting just a small part of your body scanned, it could only take 10 minutes. During the process, you will not be allowed to move, and you will likely be given headphones or earplugs to distract and protect you from the loud noises that MRI scanning machines make.
However scary the machine may sound, it is important to remember that an MRI is safe and painless. You should not endure feelings of pain or discomfort during your scan, and the scans are very noninvasive.
How to move forward
If you receive the results of your MRI and find that something is seriously impacting your health, you may feel scared. This is absolutely normal. A great way to move forward after receiving negative news is to research your options for treatment. Your doctors and radiologists will be able to guide you down a path to health and should be available for questions along the way.
However, it can always help to do additional fact-finding for yourself and to look into the best clinics and specialists in your area. No matter what your results are, it is important to remain open and positive in your thinking.