Multi-parametric MRI scan for prostate cancer

A multi-parametric MRI scan gives more detailed images of the body.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses magnetism to build up a detailed picture of certain areas of the body.

A multi-parametric MRI scan is a specialised type of MRI scan. It gives a more detailed picture of the prostate gland and surrounding area than a standard MRI scan. Your doctor might recommend you have this scan if they think you may have early prostate cancer.

The results give doctors more information about whether there are suspicious areas that may be cancer. They give the images of your prostate a score from 1 to 5. Doctors call this your Likert score.

If your score is 3 or more, they will usually offer you a biopsy. The multi-parametric MRI scan helps doctors to do the biopsy on the suspicious area of the prostate gland.

If your score is under 3 you will not usually need a biopsy. Your doctor may talk to you about continuing to monitor your PSA levels. Some slow-growing cancers may not show up on a multi-parametric MRI scan.