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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Prostate Cancer, Version 1.2016


Cancer staging

Prostate MRI

Prostate MRI

Imaging tests make pictures (images) of the insides of

your body. MRI (






maging) uses

a magnetic field and radio waves to make images.

A 3T, multi-parametric MRI of your prostate may help

pinpoint where the cancer is in the pelvis and assess

features of the cancer. The short name for this test is


Prostate MRI can be used at many points of care.

It is sometimes used for biopsies as discussed

next. Prostate MRI may also be used to help decide

whether to start and continue active surveillance.

Active surveillance is briefly described in Part 4.

Part 5 shows when it is an option for initial treatment.

Another use for prostate MRI is to assess if you

have cancer when other tests, given after treatment,

suggest there’s cancer. Read Part 6 for more


For MRI, you will need to lie on a table and be fitted

with coil devices that emit radio waves. An endorectal

coil may be used. However, the need for endorectal

coil is debated among experts. Instead of using a coil,

newer methods to improve images are being tested.

An endorectal coil is a thin wire that is inserted into

your rectum. To prepare for endorectal MRI, you may

be asked to eat less and clean your bowel with an

enema. A cover will be placed over the coil and gel

will be applied before insertion. Once inserted, the

device will be inflated to hold it in place.

During the MRI, you will be inside the MRI machine.

Straps may be used to help you stay in place. You

may be given a sedative beforehand if you feel

nervous about the test. 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.