Prostate Imaging Awareness

Prostate MRI is a non-invasive medical imaging examination that can detect prostate cancer and provide information about other prostate concerns.

Prostate cancer causes over 3000 deaths in Australian men each year. This makes prostate cancer the fourth main cause of death in Australian males. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age and family history. By the age of 85, approximately 1 in 6 Australian males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

If both a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination return abnormal results, your doctor may request further tests or refer you to a specialist urologist for a diagnosis.

Until recently, prostate cancer was difficult to image and detect. MRI has emerged as the imaging technique of choice for detecting prostate cancer and provides important information for determining treatment options. MRI of soft tissue and organs (such as the prostate) are clearer and more detailed than other imaging methods. MRI enables early diagnosis of prostate cancer as well as an accurate evaluation of the tumour’s extent.

MRI can determine if the cancer is entirely inside the prostate gland or has spread to nearby or distant organs. For men with an intermediate or high probability of cancer spread outside the prostate, MRI improves the accuracy of information, allowing your doctor to determine a more appropriate treatment plan. MRI also provides important information to surgeons.

Understanding the extent of cancer in your prostate helps your surgeon to preserve delicate arteries and nerves that are essential for sexual function and bladder control.

Furthermore, prostate MRI is used to evaluate other prostate problems such as infection or abscess, prostate enlargement, congenital abnormalities or complications after pelvic surgery.

Before making your appointment, you will require a referral for a Prostate MRI from your Urology or Oncology specialist.  Please speak with our dedicated bookings agents to ask about prices, locations and services.


To achieve a successful MRI prostate scan, it is important that your bowel is empty for the procedure. You will be given 2 Durolax tablets to take the night before the procedure. These tablets should cause evacuation of your bowel early in the morning on the day of your procedure. We ask that you do not have an ejaculation for 48 hours prior to the scan. You must have nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew for 6 hours prior to the appointment.

On arrival to your appointment, our MRI technologist will explain the examination in detail and check your contraindication questionnaire. Once this has been checked by the MRI technologist that you are safe to have an MRI scan, they will prepare you for the scan by inserting an IV cannula for the MRI contrast to be injected during this test.  You will also be changed into a patient gown.


An intramuscular injection will be administered 30 mins prior to the scan. The purpose of this medication is to relax the bowel to minimise motion which can interfere with the images.

During the MRI scan, you will be positioned on your back on the MRI bed and your pelvis will move into the centre of the MRI scanner.  It is very important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being acquired. If there is movement during the scan, the scan may not be of diagnostic quality.


After an initial series of scans, the contrast material will be injected through the IV cannula. It is normal to feel a sensation of coolness and a flushing sensation for a minute or two when the contrast is been injected. Additional series of images will be taken during or following the injection.


The scan will take approximately 30mins.  Please be aware you will be in the department for about 1 ½ hours.

There are no known risks or side effects from having a Prostate MRI. After the MRI examination, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately. A radiologist specialising in prostate imaging will interpret your MRI scans and provide a comprehensive report on the findings to your doctor. It is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.

Rockhampton Hospital
Canning Street, Rockhampton, QLD, 4700.

13 Dawson Rd, Gladstone, QLD, 4680.

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