NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
31 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Lung Cancer – Non-Small Cell, 2018 Brain MRI MRI is an imaging test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to make pictures. It may show small tumors in the brain that aren’t causing symptoms. It is not needed for clinical stage IA but is an option for stage IB. It is advised for clinical stages II, III, and IV. If you have stage IV cancer, brain MRI is very important. Cancer in the brain may or may not cause symptoms. In either case, brain MRI will show if cancer is present. For brain MRI, a device will be placed around your head that sends and receives radio waves. See Figure 8 . You may also be given a contrast dye to make the pictures clearer. It’s important to lie still during the test, so straps may be used to help you stay in place. You may be given a sedative beforehand if you feel nervous. During MRI, you will be inside the MRI machine. The machine makes loud noises but you can wear earplugs. After MRI, you will be able to resume your activities right away unless you took a sedative. A brain MRI may cause your head to feel a bit warm. MRI of spine and thoracic inlet Some stage IIB and III lung cancers are superior sulcus tumors. This type of tumor starts at the top of the lung. It easily grows into the chest wall. This tumor may have grown next to your spine or nearby blood vessels. In this case, MRI of your spine and thoracic inlet may be advised. The thoracic inlet is the center of a ring of bones at the top of the ribcage. 4 Treatment planning Imaging tests Figure 8 Brain MRI MRI may show small tumors in the brain that aren’t causing symptoms. It is not needed for clinical stage IA but is an option for stage IB. It is advised for clinical stages II and III. If you have stage IV cancer, brain MRI is very important.