When it comes to ensuring that you remain fit and healthy, having preventative MRI scans carried out on yourself can be a great choice to make. Preventative MRI scans can be offered to you by your doctor and can help to highlight any potential problems that might later develop into a more serious condition down the line, if left to develop without effective treatment.
What Are MRI Scans?
MRI scans—which is short for magnetic resonance imagine—are detailed images of your body that allow a radiologist to see event the smallest of potential problems. By detecting problems early, you often stand a far higher chance of fully recovering.
Some of the problems that can be picked up on through the use of MRI scans include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Cancer and/or developing tumors that could potentially become a problem
- Blood vessel damage or concerns
- Spinal cord injuries and complications
- Heart attack damage
- Infections, particularly within the bones
- Injured or otherwise damaged joints
During an MRI scan, you will be given a dose of a dye that will temporarily “stain” your blood a different color, thereby allowing your doctor to distinguish easily between all of the different structures in the MRI scan. The most commonly used chemical is one called gadolinium, which is notable for leaving an incredibly metallic taste in an individual’s mouth.
During the scan itself, the patient lies on a rolling table that slides easily into the machine itself. The MRI machine works by then using magnetic fields in order to generate signals which can be read, interpreted, and used by a computer to generate an image of a patient’s insides.
MRI scans are generally pain free, although they can sometimes create a twitching sensation due to the way that the magnetic waves stimulate the patient’s nerves. The scan will usually run for between 20 minutes and an hour and a half; during this time the patient will need to remain still.
Benefits of Preventative MRI Scans
MRI scans are typically used on the breasts and ovaries (in women), the prostate (in men), and the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. MRI scans on these regions are primarily used to diagnose early stage cancers, as a failure to detect any early stage cancerous tumors could result in a more serious cancer developing that might require a more aggressive and risky form of treatment.
Due to the nature of MRI scans as being pain free and relative stress free, they are widely used to diagnose any such conditions or potential health concerns early. By detecting these problems early, the chances of recovery are far greater and the patient will likely have to endure a far less unpleasant course of treatment as well.
In addition to detecting conditions and diseases earlier, preventative MRI scans can also be used to help determine the efficacy of a treatment for certain conditions, in order to prevent the condition from further developing in the case that a course of treatment hasn’t worked.