NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Prostate Cancer, Version 1.2016
Imaging tests make pictures (images) of the insides of
your body. MRI (
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.