MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the prostate is primarily used to assess prostate cancer, however, it can also be used to diagnose infection, congenital abnormalities, or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Exams are usually performed using a thin wire covered with a latex balloon, known as an endorectal coil, which is inserted into the rectum. A prostate MRI is known for producing clearer and more detailed images. Also, it does not use any ionizing radiation, which is important for many patients.
There are no side effects from the prostate MRI Scan itself and the exam usually takes approximately 30 – 45 minutes. This procedure is usually referred by doctors for a variety of reasons such as:
- To show any evidence of cancer, usually if you have a high PSA level.
- To show the extent of a prostate cancer.
- To help with the planning of the cancer treatment, such as radiotherapy.
- To identify if a cancer has returned or grown back after treatment.