Friday, April 12, 2024

Are Total-Body MRI Scans the New Frontier in Proactive Wellness?

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If you notice media personalities like Brittany Furlan, Tori Spelling, Camille Grammer and Jeff Lewis boasting about the benefits of a full-body MRI scan, it’s not a coincidence. Prenuvo, a company that offers full-body scans in a med-spa like environment wants to make the process more accessible and appealing to patients who may want to detect any possible cancers or diseases early on. Their boutique-style practices are swiftly popping up around the country and on our social media feeds. While they may seem like another trendy wellness craze, knowing what the scans can detect, they may change the way we think about preventative care

“Statistically, it does seem that during our lifetime we actually have a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with cancer,” says Prenuvo CMO Raja Haddad. “Almost half of these diagnosis occur when symptoms present themselves, so typically in late stage two or early stage three. In a lot of cases, this is too late, but it doesn’t have to be the case when we have access to preventative screening.”

How It Works

The scan can generate up to 10 times more clinical images (which includes 26 regions/organs of the body) compared to a traditional MRI Haddad says. “We also have high accuracy and sensitivity and that is completely safe. So no radiation, no dye and no contrast, which a lot of people are worried about.” A total-body scan will set you back $2,500 and it’s $1,000 for a torso scan and $1,800 for a head-and-torso scan. It can take between 10 to 15 days to receive results which are then explained to you by a technician.

Prenuvo scans lasts about an hour during which you can listen to music or watch Netflix. Spelling described her time in the MRI machine as “cozy.”

Cancer Detection

The advanced MRI can detect solid tumors at stage 1 as well as hundreds of other conditions.”We can actually detect nine out of 10 cancers,” adds Haddad. “The one cancer that’s an exception is leukemia because it’s in the blood so there are no masses. We can also detect over 500 other conditions all in just under one hour.” The scans are performed by MRI technicians and go through a rigorous analysis, first by AI-assisted technology, and then by radiologists.

Results are so specific to each patient, so the company says it’s difficult to rank all the different levels of their findings. “However, some of the more common conditions our patients are interested in screening are spondyloarthropathy of the spine, cysts throughout the body found in the kidney, liver, ovary, sinus, and a fatty liver,” says Haddad.

A full body scan can detect cancer and disease in the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis.

Breast Imaging

Because Prenuvo uses fluid-sensitive chest imaging, it can be useful for detecting both breast implant ruptures and inflammation around the breasts and in the body. Patients with dense breasts can also benefit from MRI screening as it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between fibrous tissue and tumors in a mammogram. However, mammograms remain the gold standard for breast cancer detection. Prenuvo says their scans should be used as a complement to mammograms for breast cancer screening.

Where to Get One

Currently there are six locations, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Canada and Boca Raton, FL, as well as 10 additional locations opening across the country in 2023. Haddad notes there is a three-week waiting list for the newly opened Florida office, but waiting times differ per location.

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