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Cancer Risk & Screening

Cancer screening is one of the most common reasons people come to Prenuvo. Our advanced MRI technology uses well studied techniques that can result in earlier cancer diagnoses. Learn how Prenuvo’s scans compare to other screening methods for different types of cancer.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

  • Lifetime Odds
    6.3%
  • Avg Stage of Diagnosis
    3.1
  • Avg Five Year Survival
    10.0%
  • Symptoms
    • Persistent cough
    • Shortness of breath
  • Things to Know
    • Aggressive
    • Spreads through the blood supply
  • Routine Screening
    • Available
    • Not very effective

Prenuvo’s Performance

  • There is no routine screening for lung cancer other than in high-risk former smokers. That screening is done using CT which has high false-positive rates and radiation. For nodules ≥10 mm techniques similar to those used at Prenuvo were found to have 97% sensitivity [PMID 21696559]. Recent studies have shown that DWI MRI is comparable to FDG PET without the radiation [PMID 34680313].

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

  • Lifetime Odds
    1.6%
  • Avg Stage of Diagnosis
    3.2
  • Avg Five Year Survival
    32.0%
  • Symptoms
    • Asymptomatic
  • Things to Know
    • Once it spreads, it usually surrounds essential arteries, rendering surgery a palliative option only
  • Routine Screening
    • Unavailable
    • Not very effective

Prenuvo’s Performance

  • There is no standard of care screening so pancreatic cancer is typically caught late. Our imaging enables us to view the pancreas and pancreatic duct in great detail, leading to diagnoses of many pancreatic cancers at Stage 1. Approaches similar to what we use at Prenuvo for detection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma were found to be 93% sensitivity and 89% specificity [PMID 28624015]. A study investigating DWI small (less than or equal to 20 mm) detected pancreatic adenocarcinoma (cancer) with 95.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity [PMID 28784320].

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

  • Lifetime Odds
    13.0%
  • Avg Stage of Diagnosis
    1.7
  • Avg Five Year Survival
    90.9%
  • Symptoms
    • Lump in the breast
    • Bloody discharge from the nipple
    • Changes in shape or texture of the nipple or breast
  • Things to Know
    • Patients with dense breasts are most likely to be diagnosed late as mammograms are less effective in detecting abnormalities in dense breasts
  • Routine Screening
    • Available

Prenuvo’s Performance

  • The standard of care screening is mammogram in women, however this modality suffers in women with dense breast tissue (typically pre-menopausal women). In women with dense breasts, DWI techniques have been found to be more sensitive to tumor detection than mammograms without increases in false positives [PMID 27077731]. DWI was found to reduce unnecessary breast biopsies relative to standard MRI [PMID 30647080].

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer

  • Lifetime Odds
    1.3%
  • Avg Stage of Diagnosis
    1.7
  • Avg Five Year Survival
    89.2%
  • Symptoms
    • Lump, swelling or pain in the neck
  • Things to Know
    • Most can be cured with timely, appropriate treatment
  • Routine Screening
    • Unavailable

Prenuvo’s Performance

  • Prenuvo techniques in the thyroid have been found to be comparable to ultrasound in distinguishing benign from malignant nodules [PMID 31752728].

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

  • Lifetime Odds
    13.3%
  • Avg Stage of Diagnosis
    1.7
  • Avg Five Year Survival
    90.9%
  • Symptoms
    • Difficulty with urination
  • Things to Know
    • Rarely diagnosed in Stage 1
    • Some types of prostate cancer grow slowly, others are aggressive
  • Routine Screening
    • Available

Prenuvo’s Performance

  • The gold standard for non-invasive prostate cancer detection in men is PSMA-PET. A recent study found biparametric MRI, the same protocol we use in the prostate, to be essentially equivalent [PMC 8666784] while more recent studies have found it similar in performance to contrast-enhanced multiparametric MRI [PMID 31167748]

Colo-Rectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

  • Lifetime Odds
    4.3%
  • Avg Stage of Diagnosis
    2.4
  • Avg Five Year Survival
    72.2%
  • Symptoms
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Abdominal pain
    • Difficulty emptying bowel
    • Unexplained weight loss
  • Things to Know
    • Can take up to 10 years for precancerous polyps to develop
  • Routine Screening
    • Available

Prenuvo’s Performance

  • The gold standard is a colonoscopy which enables direct visualization and removal of pre-cancerous polyps. A Prenuvo scan can be useful for patients who refuse or have not had a colonscopy or those with tortious bowels which limit complete visualization during a colonoscopy. For colon cancer of all sizes, one meta-study found detection of 95% sensitivity and 93% specificity [PMID 26770325] where techniques were used that are similar to Prenuvo.

Note: effectiveness is measured relative to standard of care screening recommended under USPSTF guidelines.

Approximately what percentage of customers get an "all-clear" result?

Nearly all of us have abnormalities and findings. For example, as a generation of people who spend a lot of time sitting (using computers, cell phones, watching tv) we diagnose some degree of spine degeneration in almost everyone. Many of us have benign findings that are useful to be aware of when we are healthy so that they are not mistaken for something more serious later on. Importantly, less than 5% of customers receive "life-altering" news.

Are the radio waves used in the MRI safe?

Yes. MRI radio waves are generally safe in a controlled environment such as an MRI. Cell phones also use radio waves. Cellphones are allowed to heat the head to 1.6 watts per kilogram. MRI is allowed to heat 3.2 watts per kilogram. By this extension, if you are comfortable speaking on your cell phone for 1200 minutes per year (120 mins per month) then you can have 9 Prenuvo scans per year.

Do you use contrast in your MRIs?

We never offer contrast on any of Prenuvo scans. We believe the combination of sequences that we take performs as well as contrast-enhanced MRI for tumor detection.

Does your MRI use radiation?

No. All MRIs are radiation-free.

How are you different from other whole body MRI services?

There are so many differences between a Prenuvo scan and other whole body MRI services that we generally don't make comparisons. - Sequences and filters used – To make sure that there is a low false-positive rate, it is essential to image your body with multiple filters (multiparametric imaging). Most other whole body providers do not use many filters in their screening protocol. In our protocol, this is the key to our low false-positive rate. - Quality and quantity of the images — We take up to 2000 high-quality images inside your body. The basic rule is that more images provide more details. We capture up to 10x more images than some other "Whole Body MRIs". - One-time scanning — We scan you from head to toe during one 50-75min scan. Other providers scan parts of the body, missing entire sections, and call it a whole body scan. - Price – Our services are less expensive than our competitors.

Is a CT or MRI better at finding tumors in screening?

MRI. As a screening exam, a CT cannot use contrast. In this context, a CT scan has a problem differentiating tumors. This is because a CT focuses on density. The density of a tumor is not greatly different from the density of a benign lesion such as a cyst, but has a vastly different significance. A CT scan can miss many tumors and equally concerning, can more often lead to additional testing when it is unnecessary. Importantly, CT scans cannot accurately assess breast tumors or liver tumors. CT scans also use radiation, while MRI does not.

Is your scan more accurate than a PET scan?

Due to the radiation dose used, PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography) is rarely used to screen for cancer. PET-CT is expensive and subjects you to both gamma and X-ray radiation. The PET portion of PET-CT uses gamma radiation to detect the metabolic activity of a tumor. The CT portion obtains many X-ray images which are overlaid on the PET images to assist in determining the exact location of the tumor in the body. PET has limited use in the kidneys, ureters, and bladder because the radioactive injection is excreted through the urinary system and is highly concentrated in these areas during the scan. The Prenuvo scan does not have these issues and is more sensitive than PET-CT for tumors of the urinary system.

What is the difference between a CT scan and an MRI?

There are many organs which are better assessed with MRI over CT. For example, in the uterus, a CT scans may only report a "possible fibroid measuring 10 mm", whereas an MRI can show more certainty in saying "an 8 mm intramural fibroid". The MRI is more definitive on its composition and exact location. CT scans show densities such as coronary artery calcifications, and this is one of the main benefit from a CT over an MRI. The MRI shows more precise imaging for brain, brain arteries (which are not well imaged on a non-contrast CT), as well as every organ in the neck, breasts, abdomen, and pelvis. CT is generally better for assessing the esophagus, lung, and stomach. The major downside of a CT scan is that it uses ionizing radiation. For example, a CT scan can use 79.7mGy of radiation. This is the equivalent of 800 chest x-rays and 22 years of background radiation every time you go for a CT scan. With MRI, there is no ionizing radiation, making it a safe test.

What is the difference between an ultrasound and an MRI?

It is difficult to compare ultrasound to MRI. There are a few areas where ultrasound really shines — notably in confirming kidney stones because MRI is less able to see these small calcifications in the kidneys. But ultrasound suffers from a poor field of vision (kind of like shining a light under the water, where the depth of field can be a bit murky) which means that it sometimes misses things. A good example was an ovarian cyst we found recently in a woman that received a normal ultrasound because the cyst was likely confused with a section of the bowel. An MRI is a completely different modality. It is three-dimensional so if you see something of interest, you know exactly what organ it is in. And we don't just take run-of-the-mill MRIs. We take many different tissue weightings which means, not only can we determine that "something is there" but we can distinguish if that something is a cyst, abscess, or solid tumor.

Insights

Research & Resources

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2 August 2022 | MRI Technology, Early Detection

What are the different types of medical imaging?

Medical imaging techniques such as MRI, X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and PET scans allow doctors to view the internal structures within the body in great detail. So what’s the difference between these types of medical imaging?

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20 July 2022 | Health, Brain Health, Early Detection

Detecting Aneurysms With a Prenuvo Scan

Often occurring without warning, aneurysms can rupture with dangerous consequences. Fortunately, with early detection, this potentially life-threatening condition can be effectively treated, and a Prenuvo MRI scan can help in the prevention of a rupture.

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18 July 2022 | MRI Technology, Preventative Health

How Prenuvo eases MRI claustrophobia

Getting an MRI when claustrophobic can be daunting. But when an MRI is unavoidable, how do you ease the claustrophobic feeling? Prenuvo’s MRI scanners have been designed in a way to allow even those with claustrophobia to comfortably get a scan.

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