Colorectal Cancer Screening
The transformation of normal cells that make up the lining of the colon’s inner wall, a process that can ultimately lead to colorectal cancer, usually takes place very gradually and typically goes unnoticed. This means that the chances of early detection are relatively good and that it makes sense to begin regular colorectal screening as early as the age of 45, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Patients who are already experiencing colonic symptoms such as blood in their stool are advised to undergo yet more extensive examination.
Colorectal cancer typically arises in connection with small nodular growths, or polyps, on the innermost lining of the colon. While such polyps are often harmless, or benign, when they first appear, they may turn into voluminous, malignant tumors. If allowed to develop further, colorectal cancer may proceed to breach the wall of the colon or rectum and to spread to lymph nodes and other organs. The early detection and removal of polyps is therefore often an effective means of stopping the development of colorectal cancer. This makes careful screening at regular intervals essential, especially in patients with a family history of colorectal cancer.
As a viable means of screening for signs of colorectal cancer, MRI of the colon represents an alternative to conventional colonoscopy. While the examination does not involve the use of an endoscope, a small water enema is administered to dilate the folds of the colon.
Colorectal cancer screening: MRI scan of the colon and abdominopelvic region
- Comprehensive preliminary consultation, including medical history
- Analysis of personal risk profile
- Recording and analysis of any diseases and (nonspecific) symptoms
- Examination includes:
- Scanning the outside of the colon to detect diverticula
- Scanning the inside of the colon to detect polyps, tumors or other signs of disease
- Scan of the entire abdominopelvic region
- Comprehensive post-examination consultation
- Written report summarizing the examination results and including a recommendation for further action
Preparing for Your Exam
- Please appear at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- You will need to take a laxative on the day before your appointment in order to empty your colon. Specific information pertaining to the type or brand of laxative to be taken and how it is to be administered will be made available to you once your appointment has been arranged.
- Please notify our medical staff well in advance of your appointment if you suffer from diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease.
- You may take your medication as accustomed.
- The exam will take around 2 hours.
- Snacks and beverages will be served.
A Matter of Safety
- MRI scans make use of a strong magnetic field. For this reason, please bear in mind the following restrictions:
- Patients with a cardiac pacemaker, a defibrillator, an artificial heart valve made of metal and/or an insulin pump are not allowed to undergo the MRI scan.
- Patients who have undergone surgery for the placement of a medical device that is at least partly made of metal (including cochlear implants, artificial joints, intramedullary nails, vascular clips, cardiac stents, metal clips and metal plates, but not including dental inlays) must wait at least 6 weeks before undergoing the MRI scan.
- Please notify our medical staff in advance if you suffer from impaired kidney function.
- Please bring any related medical reports with you to your appointment.
Including consultation and medical report: EUR 895