Cancer refers to a variety of different diseases characterized by cancerous cells that have the potential to invade and infiltrate normal body tissues and multiply uncontrollably. Often, cancer spreads through the body very quickly. 

The majority of cancerous cells are not cancerous at first, but they may become cancerous as they grow and divide. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to determine when a cancerous cell has become cancerous, or when a type of cancer has already developed, making it very dangerous to the one diagnosed. 

MRI for Cancer Detection 

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an imaging procedure that involves using strong magnetic fields, radio wave fields, and alternating magnetic field gradients to create high-resolution images of the internal structure and the internal organs of a person’s body. 

The method of imaging involves sending radio waves through the patient’s body–from the brain to the organ of interest. MRI may detect cancers by capturing cancerous cells in the body. For instance, if they’re suspecting any breast cancers, a breast cancer MRI scan might be done to verify.  

MRI has been a better method of detecting cancer compared to a CT scan since the latter usually has trouble with detecting certain types of cancers such as prostate, uterine, and liver cancers. With an MRI, you’ll be able to get a full diagnosis of which type of cancer a person has. 

Furthermore, an MRI machine allows doctors to determine the signs if the cancer has already spread throughout the body, helping them plan their treatment, which is either through surgery or radiation. 

If you’re going for an MRI, you don’t have to worry as it’s completely painless. You just need to lay still on a bed, go inside a wide machine, and then the machine will capture images without harming your body. But if you have any metal parts in your body, you should inform your doctor right away to see which cancer detection would work best for you.  

How Does MRI Work 

An MRI scanner is essentially a large tube or cylinder that holds a very strong magnet. You lay on a bed that slides inside the tube, and then the machine wraps around you with an extremely strong magnetic field. The machine then uses a high-powered magnetic force and a pulse of radiofrequency waves to detect signals in the nucleus (nuclei) of hydrogen molecules in your body. 

As the MRI scan moves from the abdomen to the neck, it may detect more nucleus, increasing the data that it can retrieve. The signals that are retrieved are then analyzed using the software. By using this data, in conjunction with x-rays, CT scans, PET scans, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scans, and ultrasound images, doctors may determine if there’s damage to any of the structures in the patient’s body. If there is damage, the physician may decide whether they’ll be able to fix the problem themselves or need to have surgery performed. It also helps them pinpoint the exact location of the damage. 

In the past, these scans were performed by X-ray machines, but this was not as accurate and efficient as it is today. With the arrival of MRI technology, however, doctors can perform all of these tests in one place, making it an incredibly useful tool to have at their disposal. 

How Long Does It Take? 

Depending on how the images were captured, MRI scans usually take about 45 to 60 minutes, and, sometimes, it could take about two hours. 

After the scan is done, you may be asked to wait to verify if the scans were clear and show all of the body parts. If unclear, you may be asked for a rescan to capture more photos.  

Taking an MRI Test

First, you’ll be asked to undress and change into a hospital gown. Along with this, you should remove any accessories on your body, including body piercings, clips, and rings. It’s best that you have no metal on your body to ensure that it’ll be completely safe for you and won’t produce any complications.  

After everything has been cleared out, you’ll be asked to lay on a narrow and flat table. The assigned healthcare professional may use straps and pillows to make you feel more comfortable and prevent you from moving. You must try to stay still so that the scan will provide accurate and better results.  

After you’ve been tucked in, the table will slowly slide in a long, narrow cylinder wherein the MRI scan takes place. The body part that will be scanned will be placed in the middle part of the cylinder for better scanning. If you’re going to be scanning your head, only half of your body will be going inside the cylinder. There might be a bit of flashing lights and light noises, which is normal as that’s how an MRI scan takes photos of your internal body.  

In the exam room, you’ll be alone and the technologist will be in a separate room through a window and will take scans from there. Don’t worry as they can hear you and you’ll be able to talk to them while inside.  

As mentioned, if you’re worried about any pain during your MRI scan, release those tension as it’s completely painless. Nothing will be in direct contact with your body. Just think of it as a giant camera taking photos of you. Sounds may be present but that’s completely normal and nothing there’s nothing that you should be worried about. Also, doctors could provide you with earplugs to block out any noise.  


Having to test for cancer is not a great thing to experience. But with MRI scans, there’s nothing that you should worry about.  

MRI scans may will help determine if you have cancer and how is the condition currently taking place. It can see if any cancer cells have already spread throughout the body and it may also help your doctor to see which treatment will work best for you. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and has undergone treatment, you should continue to take care of your body to help yourself become healthier.  

Going inside the MRI machine may sound scary as it’s a huge machine that you have to go into, but don’t worry and just think of it as a tanning bed without all of the heat. No harm will be done and they’d just simply take pictures to know what’s going on inside your body.