MRI for stomach cancer patients is used in a variety of different situations.
Using magnets, this examination doesn't use x-ray technology and is therefore perceived as a safe method of investigation.
If you are having a scan, you need to be aware of the reasons for the test as well as the problems that may arise.
The examination is used to:
It has the ability to determine the:
They are particularly useful if there are any concerns of tumor spread to your spinal cord or brain.
They are also good at defining abnormalities found on CT scanning, particularly liver abnormalities where there is any doubt about the possibility of tumor deposits.
To prepare for your test, you must remove any metallic body jewellery, watches, hearing aids, metallic hair slides and clips as well as any teeth braces.
You may be asked not to drink or eat for four to six hours before your test.
You may need to have a contrast dye given to you before you have your scan.
You then lay on a sliding table that moves in to the scanner, but some people don’t like this and I will explain why latter.
All tests carry risks, no matter how small they are. In the case of magnetic resonance scanning the main risk is from the magnets used.
As you know, magnets exert a force on metal. If you have had any surgery that involved the placement a metal prosthesis or other metal object, you must inform the MRI department beforehand.
Equally, any shrapnel wound you have sustained during your life needs to be highlighted for the very same reason.
So, to summarise, the main contraindications are:
I often hear people say "I don't want an magnetic resonance scan"! There are a variety of reasons for this.
If you are claustrophobic, you may find the scan uncomfortable. The ‘tunnel’ you go in is quite narrow and it is also quite noisy too.
You may notice that your body feels warm during the test.
The scans take longer than a CT scan, typically thirty to sixty minutes, and this makes the experience even worse for some people.
If you are worried about having an MRI for stomach cancer investigation, discuss this with your doctor as they may offer you an alternative.
If unable to offer an alternative, they may advise you to have some sedation before the test.