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mpMRI Scans

“The big change has been the advent of MRI and its use in prostate imaging[…] the great revelation has been that we can now see prostate tumours.”

Dr Clare Allen, Uro-Radiology Lead Consultant, University College Hospital, London




What is an MRI Scan For?

An MRI scan is used to identify areas of suspicion within your prostate gland that may need to be further investigated.

In the early 2000s, advances in MRI scans allowed clinicians for the first time to understand which areas of the prostate gland had cancer and which did not. The combination of high-quality MRI imaging with precision biopsies has now led to a paradigm shift in the way prostate cancer can be diagnosed or ruled out.

What is an mpMRI Scan?

A multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) scan creates a more detailed picture of your prostate than a standard MRI scan: it does this by combining four different types of image.

These images give your doctor information about whether there are any cancer cells in your prostate and how likely they are to grow.

In the UK, an mpMRI scan should be carried out for men with an elevated PSA level before any biopsy. The information from the mpMRI pinpoints exactly where any areas of interest are located and allows for targeted biopsies.


Raj Nigam
“A high-quality mpMRI scan combined with a targeted biopsy allows us to know the location and grade of your prostate cancer. We can then treat it with minimal damage to surrounding organs and reduced side effects.”

Mr Raj Nigam, Consultant Urological Surgeon at The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford


What Happens After My MRI Scan?

The radiologist reviewing your MRI scan will identify areas of suspicion shown in the scan and will assign them a PIRADS score.

A PIRADS score of 4 or 5 indicates a need for a biopsy, and a significant number of men with a PIRADS score of 3 will also be biopsied.

If a biopsy is needed, the information from a mpMRI scan allows samples to be collected directly from the areas of suspicion that have been identified.


Alan Doherty - Prostate Cancer Surgeon
“A really high-quality MRI scan, where we can identify the higher-grade cancer, opens up Focal Therapy and allows us to pinpoint destruction of the cancer without causing a lot of collateral damage.”

Mr Alan Doherty, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham


Get In Touch

As a group of consultants we are passionate about prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.

We know that settling on the right treatment is a big decision for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient advocates about your diagnosis and the HIFU Focal Therapy treatment option then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

All enquiries to The Focal Therapy Clinic are confidential, and we are delighted to offer our advice and support with no obligation.