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Express Cancer Screening: Does an MRI Detect Cancer?

Your care provider can accurately detect various potential cancers with reliable imaging equipment like an MRI. 
by Sollis Health

Since you rely on your healthcare provider to handle vital processes like cancer detection, working with professionals you can count on is key. Choosing concierge medicine from Sollis Health gives you access to trusted equipment the moment you need it, encouraging early detection.

How Does an MRI Detect Cancer?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnet to generate computer images of the body. An MRI machine is a long tube with a large magnet inside. When you are inside the machine, the magnet creates a powerful magnetic field, which stimulates the protons in your body and causes them to move against that magnetic field. 

MRI machines can alter the level of radio waves to register different areas of the body. When the radiofrequency source switches off, the machine’s sensors detect the energy that the protons spent as they aligned with the magnetic field.

As a result, an MRI creates cross-sectional images of the body on a grey scale. These radio frequencies are particularly helpful for reading tissues like fat and water. Since many diseases, like cancer, involve an increase in water content, MRI scans can reveal masses and tumors within the body. 

When a health professional runs an MRI scan, they may use a contrast dye to make organs and other body parts more visible. This dye can also make masses and irregularities more obvious on computer imaging for an accurate assessment of existing cancers. Professionals may also use MRI scans and contrast dye to track cancer progression and identify if it has moved to other parts of the body.

What to Expect During a Typical MRI Scan

If you need an MRI, you may want to know how to prepare for the appointment and what to expect. Your scan includes two phases — preparation and scanning.


Making an MRI appointment is the first step in the preparation process. Often, scheduling these appointments can take a considerable amount of time. You may need referrals from a primary care provider, and it can be challenging to find a location near you that has imaging equipment. In standard healthcare environments, you can expect to wait a few weeks at a minimum before you actually go for your scan.

Your doctor will not require any lifestyle changes up to the appointment. You should eat, drink and take medications as you normally would. On the day of your appointment, you may be asked to change into a gown for your scan.

A care provider will also ask you to remove any jewelry, body piercings and other metal you may have, like keys and coins. An MRI machine is essentially a giant magnet, and metal can interrupt the accuracy of the scan. You will not qualify for an MRI if you have metal inside your body, such as a cochlear implant or pacemaker.


When it’s time to complete the scan, you will lie down on a padded bench connected to the machine. You may be secured comfortably in place to keep you still to ensure a precise reading. Before entering the machine, contrast dye may be injected for better visibility. 

It is also common to receive headphones for the process because the inside of the machine makes several loud knocking noises. You may even have the opportunity to listen to music. The machine operator will activate the scanner and the bench will slide into the machine. You can close your eyes throughout the scanning process to make it more comfortable. 

A scan can take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on what images your doctor wants to generate. If you’re not fond of tight spaces, mention this to your care provider.

The Advantages of Onsite Advanced Imaging Equipment

The Advantages of Onsite Advanced Imaging Equipment

You can typically find advanced imaging equipment only at hospitals or imaging centers, which often require in-advance appointments and long wait times to be seen. MRI scans are only one method used to identify cancers in the body. You may have heard of a CT scan, which is another form of imaging equipment used to see the inside of the body. Rather than relying on radio waves and magnets, CT scans use X-rays to create images. 

CT scans are much faster than MRIs and can provide a clear image of the entire body and potential cancers. Typically, CTs are the first scan that physicians will turn to for identifying cancer. However, MRIs are better at detecting certain cancers, like uterine, prostate and some liver cancers. 

Working with a care provider who offers both CT and MRI imaging equipment onsite ensures that you can address any potential cancer concerns at any time. You can also use these scans for preventive care if certain cancers run in your family and you want confirmation about your health every year.

At Sollis Health, we maintain imaging equipment at all of our flagship locations to support peace of mind around potential cancers. We’re here to help you through every health need, big or small. In our calm, comfortable environments, our care providers take the time to assess your needs and craft a care journey that’s unique to you.

Expedited MRI Screening Experience at Sollis Health

In typical screening scenarios, you have to wade through phone calls, office wait times and different locations for physical screenings and results discussions. The standard experience often feels like more work than it’s worth, even when you’re facing a possible cancer diagnosis.

If you notice a mass on your body, you want to respond quickly. Instead of facing those administrative hurdles just to get to your appointment, you can call Sollis the moment you find the mass. With this immediate response time, you can sidestep weeks of waiting time and experience a reality where you can consider all of the possibilities and get answers immediately. Concierge medicine with Sollis Health is the key to early detection.

Sollis Health MRI

The Benefits of Early Detection

With concierge medicine from Sollis Health, you gain the access you want and the assurance you need. If you ever feel concerned about cancers based on family history or recent health issues, we can provide access to the imaging equipment necessary to make an early diagnosis. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have before taking action.

The benefits of early detection include:

  • Reduced risk of late-stage diagnosis: Survival rates change dramatically with early detection. In fact, 9 in 10 ovarian cancer patients survive for at least five years with the earliest stage diagnosis. Screening tools like MRIs aid in this early detection. When medical care is available at any moment, you can catch cancer developments before they become more challenging to address. Sollis Health provides the premium care you need with ultimate convenience.
  • Faster recovery: Catching cancers early on typically leads to faster recovery times. Early diagnoses often require simpler care plans that can even lead to a cancer-free lifestyle following treatment. 
  • Lower care costs: Early-stage cancer diagnoses require less aggressive treatment, which typically comes with lower costs. With members-only medicine from Sollis Health, you get direct access to the preventive and responsive care you need for long-term savings.

Contact Sollis Health for Care Beyond Preventive Screening

Sollis Health offers convenient, immediate and reliable care for its members. We understand that the traditional healthcare model can feel like a black hole, and we don’t want that fact to stand in the way of you receiving the care you deserve. While you can count on our care team and advanced imaging equipment 24/7, we can address every concern, no matter how big or small.

Other services included in our membership are urgent care services, rapid lab tests and screenings, house calls, virtual visits, travel care and expedited access to specialists. We also support our members by coordinating care across providers and advocating for services among other physicians and facilities. With Sollis, medicine meets hospitality. Learn more about membership today.


Sollis Health is a 24/7 doctor, private ER and concierge service rolled into one. Whether it’s an emergency or simply to diagnose the symptoms that you typically Google in the middle of the night, our emergency-trained doctors are ready for anything. Interested in becoming a Sollis member?