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Can't have mri

7 Feb 2018 15:22

I have recital colon  cancer  and have had a ct scan today .i was supposed to have a MRI scan tomorrow but have been told I can't have it due to having a air rifle pellet in my head. Is there any other options that are similar to a MRI. Will this affect my treatment ? 

Re: Can't have mri

8 Feb 2018 14:44 in response to 566566

Hello and thank you for posting a question. I am sorry to learn that you have rectal cancer.

I am afraid that I do not really know how your medical team will get around the problem of you not being able to have an MRI. But I would imagine that they have come across this problem before and they are likely to have a plan on how to deal with it.

Usually the aim of the CT scan is to look at the broader picture rather than the rectal tumour in detail. This is where the MRI becomes useful. It is often better than a CT scan at looking at how deep the cancer is in the rectal area and assessing if it has spread a little into the tissues in the local area. It can help doctors decide on the most appropriate treatment for an individual person.

Having said this, your doctors might work with the information that is available from the CT scan. The images can often give quite a lot of information.  I don’t know if your medical team will order another CT which is perhaps concentrating more on the tumour, this is a possibility. You may be aware of  PET/CT scanners. The use of these scans have not been widely researched in the initial assessment of rectal tumours So I have my doubts  that a PET/CT will be considered. But a few small studies have shown that this might be useful in the assessment of rectal tumours, so I don’t think that I can dismiss this possibility completely.

Your specialist is likely to discuss  the MRI difficulties with other team members including the imaging specialists (radiologists) and together they will work out the best way forward.

I am sorry that I cannot be more specific. If you have any other questions do get back to us. Our freephone number is 0808 800 4040. We are here from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am to 5pm.

All the best,


Re: Can't have mri

8 Feb 2018 15:04 in response to 566566

Hi 566566. 

I'm sorry to hear of your situation and this is the very last thing you need.

Do you know whether the pellet might be fairly easily removed? Normally these foreign bodies are left alone, but in this case it might be worth a minor operation to remove it. Do you know if this is feasible? 

Re: Can't have mri

8 Feb 2018 22:33 in response to telemando

No it in the back of my eye socket . It’s been in 45 year so I think removal is not a option.

Re: Can't have mri

8 Feb 2018 23:56 in response to 566566

Ouch! It really doesn't bear thinking about what could happen if they put you in the machine.