Medical technology has come incredibly far in the last century. One of the best inventions made in the medical field is the MRI machine. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and is one of the best diagnostic tools your doctor can use to determine treatment options. MRIs are used for a variety of reasons but how can they be beneficial for those trying to prevent or treat cancer?
MRI machines use magnetic fields and radio frequencies to capture images of the internal structures of the body. Because they do not use radiation, it is safe to use on any part of the body as well as children. If you want to know if you have a possibility of cancer or a tumor present, your doctor will likely order this imaging test for you. The most frequent use of MRI today is the evaluation of spine and joint problems.
MRIs are extremely beneficial for seeing into the various tissues such as heart, brain and abdomen and will be used to highlight the possibility of cancer. You will be asked to lie down on the machine’s table and then you will be slowly moved into the magnetic chamber. The test can take some time but most importantly, you must remain still so that the doctor can obtain the highest quality images.
While MRIs won’t themselves prevent cancer from forming, they can produce the best quality images for your doctor to decide if you are high-risk for cancer or if there is already a tumor forming. For some MRI exams, the doctor may tell you that contrast material needs to be administered. This will either be done through an IV or by drinking the contrast material. Contrast material is sometimes a necessary instrument for doctors to get better detail from your MRI results. Contrast material can highlight a tumor or abnormality that may have been hidden or too small to see in prior tests. If you have problems with kidney function be sure to let your doctor know prior to taking contrast fluid. If your kidneys cannot filter out the contrast material, there may be complications.
Unfortunately, medical technology has only found a handful of ways to prevent a handful of cancers, but having the availability of medical imaging procedures like MRIs performed easily can make it so that you know immediately if there something dangerous or suspicious.
If you have questions or concerns or want to set up an MRI appointment in the Metairie, Louisiana area, just give us a call at 504-883-8111, or schedule your MRI online.