MRI's are the best for test results and they are getting faster as far as being in capsule because of technology. But most Dr's will use the CT Scan as Wendy mentioned because they are cheaper and they can see what they need to see. The only reason I got 2 MRI's is because I had my left hip replaced and the new hip was blocking view with just the CT Scan. And they did an MRI of my liver cause they saw lesions not sure if it was cancer but turned out they were just lesions. So if you are ordered an MRI on top of a CT Scan like me it is because there is something they want to see better. Joe
>> What is the best way to diagnose muscle invasive bladder cancer CT scans or MR scan.?
Unfortunately I learned a little in this area in the last couple of months.
I’m no doctor, so what I write here is base on my own personal learning experience. :-/
A CT scan is not showing a particular detailed pictures, so the way the doctors see indications for invasive bladder cancer or a tumor, is by comparing the thickness of the bladder-wall, to the rest of the bladder-wall.
If the bladder has a particular area where it gets thicker then the rest of the bladder-wall, the doctor assumes this is a tumor.
By using an ordinary MRI scanners you can first off al have more details then with the CT.
By using High Field MRI scanners you can not only have details, but you can also look at flows.
By injecting contrast into the body, and taking pictures with intervals, you can look at a suspected tumor area, and by looking at the wash-in and wash-out of the injected contrast you will have a pretty good idea it this is a tumor or something else.
Both ways only offers indications for cancer tumors. You really don’t know for sure how bad it is before a biopsy it taken, but the MR scanner indications are better and more precise then the CT scanner.
If you are looking for a High Field MRI scanners it is, in my part of the world, defined by having from 1,5 to 3 Tesla.
The usual way for doctors to do things is to use the cheapest diagnostic tool first and if they are not conclusive to try the next ones...CTs are the older and cheaper of the two tests, but can be very good for dxing bladder cancer...MRI might be gaining ground as the most favored. It could simply be a matter of insurance, as well.
The problem with CTs is the amount of radiation, and that makes it rather unsuitable for low grade, low risk bladder cancer. When the dx is invasive bladder cancer then the benefits outweight any long term risk, that's the rationale.
Both tests can miss things, a tumor must be over 1 or 2 cm to show up, and both can't diagnose micro-metastases, and that's the limitation. PET scans are very good for dxing distant mets, but difficult to use for bladder tumors because the dye lights up the whole bladder no matter what and makes it hard to see.
There are combination PET-CTS now that are said to be the best diagnostic tool out there, but not considered standard for bladder cancer. I think that would be the CT, followed by the MRI.
I have from the start MRI's reason being I am allergic to the Cat Scan dye that they give you. The dye they give you with MRI's I am ok with. I have MRI's of my abdomen and pelvis on two different days because they are so long. Each one of them take about 1-1 1/2hrs. Since my neobladder I have to have them every three months for 1 1/2 yrs. then it goes to every 6 months for 1 1/2 yrs. I am almost to every 6 months I am getting tired of them. I am wondering which one is more exspensive. One of my MRI's are around 1600. A total of $3200 every 3 months. Thank God for insurance.
While reading the postings, I've noticed that some of us mention that cat scans were done to detect the invasiveness or the size of a bladder tumor while others have MRIs performed.
I was wondering what the difference is, and if one is better than the other? I've had both and I know the cat scan takes a lot less time, so I'm thinking that the MRI is a better diagnostic tool, but that's just an assumption.