Less commonly, your doctors may recommend an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to check for bladder cancer. This scan uses a powerful magnet and a computer to build up cross-sectional pictures of organs in your abdomen.
Before the scan, let your medical team know if you have a pacemaker, as the magnetic waves can interfere with some pacemakers. Also ask what the MRI will cost, as Medicare usually does not cover this scan for bladder cancer.
For an MRI, you may be injected with a dye that highlights the organs in your body. You will then lie on an examination table inside a large metal tube that is open at both ends. You will hear loud repetitive sounds. The radiographer will place you in a position that will allow you to stay still so that movement is limited during the MRI.
The noisy and narrow MRI machine makes some people feel anxious or claustrophobic. If you think you may become distressed, mention it beforehand to your medical team. You may be given a mild sedative to help you relax or you might be able to bring someone into the room with you for support. You will usually be offered earplugs, or headphones to listen to music.
The MRI scan takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
|Before having scans, tell the doctor if you have any allergies or have had a reaction to contrast during previous scans. You should also let them know if you have diabetes or kidney disease or are pregnant.|
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Dickon Hayne, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, and Head, Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Dr Anne Capp, Senior Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Marc Diocera, Genitourinary Nurse Consultant, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Peter Heathcote, Senior Urologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, and Adjunct Professor, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, QLD; Melissa Le Mesurier, Consumer; Dr James Lynam, Medical Oncologist Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle and The University of Newcastle, NSW; John McDonald, Consumer; Michael Twycross, Consumer; Rosemary Watson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria.
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