This forum is for the discussion of anything to do with Prostate Cancer. There are only four rules:
No fundraisers, no commercials (although it is OK to recommend choices of treatment or medical people based on your personal research; invitations to participate in third-party surveys are also acceptable, provided there is no compensation to YANA);
No harvesting e-mail addresses for Spam;
No insults or flaming - be polite and respectful at all times and understand that there may be a variety of points of view, all of which may have some validity;
Opinions are OK, but please provide as much factual evidence as possible for any assertions that you are making
Failure to abide by these simple rules will result in the immediate and permanent suspension of your posting privileges.
Since this is an International Forum, please specify your location in your post.
The following quote from one of several articles listed from a Google MRI search appears to address two of your primary concern (i. e., risks and radiation):
"An MRI scan is a painless radiology technique that has the advantage of avoiding x-ray radiation exposure. There are no known side effects of an MRI scan. The benefits of an MRI scan relate to its precise accuracy in detecting structural abnormalities of the body."
Regards Don O.
While the dose is probably worth the risk, this tests only for bone metastasis... and tells you nothing about lymph or other organs that may be involved. When a urologist does an RP, they usually take a lymph node or three and a pathologist tests for involvement. If the lymph glands are compromised, a bone scan may be a good choice.
Really - it all comes down to trusting the doc. He/she is the expert. If you walk away from a visit and still have questions, you need to be a bit more bold and ask the doc to take the time to explain it to you. If they won't, then find a different doc who will.
And in any case, have a few docs to chat with during this ordeal. Insurance may limit you, but I've found state university hospitals have people doing research that are happy to discuss your case - It's usually as easy as asking your institution to forward the MRI's or scans, or pathology slides, or whatever to the universities medical team for a second opinion. The caveat being you allow them to incude your data in their studies or to keep it on hand for future work.
Radiation is often misunderstood. A fire burning in your fireplace gives off radiation. You feel it as heat. But radiation can be pooled into two distinct camps: Non-Ionizing, and Ionizing. IR, what you feel as heat is non-ionizing.
An MRI uses non-ionizing radiation... think radio waves or microwave ovens. These use electromagnetic radiation at Frequencies that can heat things up but lack energy to break apart atoms. The band extends up into visible light and a bit beyond.
An X-Ray or CT Scan uses ionizing radiation. Think UVA and UVB that burn skin and can disrupt chromosomes and thus cause cancer; and then even higher electromagnetic frequencies that do have the energy to break apart or ionize atoms. X-Rays being the most common we hear about, but also include gamma and other types (yes, there is such a thing as delta radiation).