Cancer begins when the normal process of cell renewal goes awry, and cells clump together to form masses called tumors. Although many tumors are benign, or non-cancerous, others turn out to be malignant, or cancerous. Cancer is often a silent disease that spreads without significant early warning signs. That’s why board-certified radiologist Dr. Karl L. Hussman encourages patients with an increased cancer risk to consider regular MRI screenings. He provides comprehensive diagnostic cancer screenings at Alpha 3T MRI located in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan. Call the office or book your appointment online today.
The main goal of cancer screening is to detect cancer before it’s in more advanced stages, when symptoms are more likely to appear. Because there are more than 100 different types of cancer that affect various parts of the body, physicians have a wide variety of screening tools they can use to detect cancer. For example, women’s cervical cancer is often first detected with a routine Pap smear test.
In addition to the comprehensive physical exam, genetic tests, and laboratory exams your physician may perform, effective cancer screening often requires some form of diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, or X-ray.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology is currently the most sensitive imaging test for cancer in routine clinical practice. An MRI creates a detailed picture of the tissues and structures inside your body, revealing tumors and abnormalities that may not be visible with other forms of diagnostic imaging techniques.
At Alpha 3T MRI, Dr. Hussman uses diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) to screen for most types of cancer. A multitude of studies from across the globe have shown that DW-MRI has high rate of accuracy in detecting nearly all types of cancer. For most cancers, the accuracy of DW-MRI is as good or better than that of positron emission tomography combined with computerized tomography (PET-CT), which is more expensive and cannot be used as an annual or biannual screening test due to radiation exposure.
Dr. Hussman performs DW-MRI with optimized parameters and high resolution imaging to screen for a wide variety of cancers. He can perform highly detailed MRI studies of the brain, head, and neck, as well as the chest, abdomen, pelvis, and colon. Gender-specific cancers he commonly screens for include:
Breast cancer is the most commonly screened cancer in women. Dr. Hussman optimizes breast MRI scans by using a multi-parametric screening approach, including dynamic contrast enhancement (DCE), diffusion imaging and, if a lesion is found, spectroscopy. MRI scans are also used to check the progression of certain women’s cancers, including:
1. Cervical cancer
2. Uterine or endometrial cancer
3. Ovarian cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Dr. Hussman always performs MRI studies of the prostate without intravenous contrast injection, unless a lesion is present.