Mya Care Blogger 21 Feb 2024

Cancer remains one of the major contributors to global mortality, with early detection being crucial for successful treatment.

Mammograms, colonoscopies, and other traditional screening methods have limitations and may not detect cancer in its early stages. However, technological advancements have led to the development of full-body MRI scans, which offer a non-invasive and comprehensive approach to cancer screening.[1]

This blog explores the benefits, limitations, and real-world examples of full-body MRI scans for early cancer detection and beyond.

What is a Full-Body MRI Scan?

A full-body MRI scan is a non-intrusive imaging method that reads radio waves applied inside a strong magnetic field to render detailed images of the body's internal structures. It applies the basic principles of MRI using more advanced technology. MRI involves the alignment of the body's hydrogen atoms in a strong magnetic field.

Unlike traditional MRI scans, which focus on a specific body area, a full-body MRI scan captures images of the entire body, from head to toe[2].

The user must remove jewelry and other metal items from their body to lower signal interference. They then lay down on the scanning bed and enter the chamber. The chamber exposes the body to a powerful magnetic field. The radio waves cause the body's hydrogen atoms to emit signals captured by sensors in the MRI machine. These signals are relayed to a computer interface and converted into images.

By analyzing the signals emitted by different types of tissues, MRI can create detailed images of organs, bones, muscles, and other internal structures.

Advancements in Full-Body MRI Scanning

Full-body MRI technology is far more advanced than conventional MRI, making it a highly effective option for early cancer detection.

A few key differences between older MRI technology and the latest full-body scanners include:

  • Higher-resolution scanners aid in the accurate detection of abnormalities.
  • Newer models reduce scan times significantly, with full-body MRI scans taking between 45 and 60 minutes.
  • Potent magnetic fields and enhanced body sensors in newer models improve imaging accuracy and patient safety.
  • AI integration in MRI scanners improves image analysis and streamlines the diagnostic process.
  • More space inside the MRI chamber to minimize discomfort and claustrophobia.
  • Some new MRI scanners are equipped with a television, music facility, or similar entertainment, allowing clients to pass the time more comfortably.

The newer technology can detect hundreds of millions more points on the body, called voxels. Voxels are like 3D pixels that are received as signals by a detector in the scanner. This sensitivity is more than double that of conventional MRI technology.

Some new MRI scanners can sense the movement of water up to 100 times better than current standard MRI devices, a technique known as diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). More powerful DWI is another aspect that allows these futuristic machines to see blood vessels, nerve endings, and other soft tissues clearly and with far greater ease.[3]

Total body MRI scanners can better differentiate between hard and soft tissues without needing contrast dyes or other harmful substances.

These advancements allow for detecting even the slightest abnormalities in the body, enabling early cancer diagnosis.

Ongoing research in MRI technology improves capabilities, aiming to enhance diagnosis and accessibility in clinical practice.

Benefits for Early Cancer Detection

Conventional cancer screening techniques are prone to limitations that may result in missed or delayed diagnoses. These limitations include false positives, limited accuracy, and discomfort.

By comparison, the main benefits of whole-body MRI scanning for early cancer detection are its high precision and comprehensive approach. The technology has the potential to do away with the need for many other screening methods.

Full-body MRI scanners are capable of screening for a more comprehensive range of cancers than any other approach, such as:

Unlike screening methods of the past, full-body MRI can detect minor abnormalities as small as 2 mm and stage 1-2 cancer before symptoms are noticeable. It can also identify other types of internal anomalies, such as cardiovascular disease or neurological issues.

Other benefits of early cancer detection utilizing this technology include:

  • Non-Invasive Screening: Full-body MRI scans are non-invasive, which means they do not penetrate the skin. This eliminates the chances of acquiring an infection or similar complication associated with invasive procedures like biopsies.
  • Safety: Full-body MRI scans do not use ionizing radiation or harmful substances like contrast dyes. They are seen as a safer alternative to traditional screening methods that may involve such harmful exposures.

Customers who opt for total body MRI scans express that it gives them peace of mind regarding their health. They can swiftly schedule a session to gain an internal view of their bodies and ascertain whether they need treatment.

Some assert that this technology was a lifesaver in detecting cancerous conditions in the early stages and significantly reducing prospective healthcare costs. There is no research available yet to support these claims.

Full-Body MRI Technology Beyond Cancer

While full-body MRI scans are primarily known for their effectiveness in early cancer detection, they also have the potential to diagnose or monitor a wide range of other diseases and conditions.

One study shows that up to 30% of people who opt for a full-body MRI scan discover problematic findings and that up to 11% receive treatment after a scan. These results are prone to a small degree of inaccuracy, as highlighted by other reviews assessing false negative results.

Full-body MRI scans can enable early detection and personalized treatment for many health conditions[4], such as:

  1. Musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis, tendonitis, fractures, and other related disorders.
  2. Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, stroke, and brain tumors.
  3. Cardiovascular diseases, aortic aneurysms, and heart defects.
  4. Inflammatory digestive disorders like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  5. Other internal anomalies, such as liver cysts and kidney stones.

They can reveal abnormalities all over the body, including brain and spinal cord lesions, infections, bone fractures, kidney stones, heart deformities, and blood vessel blockages. They can also tell if any organ is swollen or maintains irregular growth, such as in digestive tract regions.

This technology can quickly assess a wide range of persistent symptoms and pinpoint potential causes[5], aiding in the personalized treatment of many health conditions, including rare or complex diseases.

With ongoing advancements in technology, full-body MRI scans continue to revolutionize healthcare by uncovering the hidden complexities of the human body.

Review of Full-Body MRI Scanners

Companies such as Prenuvo, Ezra, Fountain Life, SimonONE, and Vitalscan are offering patients quick, painless insight into the nature of their health.

The review below compares their services by looking at their pricing, scope, duration, and more.


Prenuvo can capture up to 2000 images of 26 organs per scan and claims to aid in diagnosing more than 500 health conditions, including cancers and other abnormalities.

As of this writing, they offer the following scans:

  • Full body scan at $2,499 in 60 minutes
  • Head and torso at $1,799 in 45 minutes
  • Torso at $999 in 25 minutes

Prenuvo can provide insights that allow for future disease prediction with each scan. They use these insights to conduct research regularly.


Vitalscan offers diagnostic options such as:

  • Full body scan at 1000 GBP in 60 minutes
  • MRI Arthrogram at 900 GBP in 60-70 minutes
  • Private MRI at 350 GBP in 15-30 minutes

Their private MRI option scans one designated body area, while the arthrogram provides insight into an aching or arthritic joint. The full body scan covers 12 body regions. Vitalscan combines MRI with ultrasound and blood testing to offer a holistic view of health status.


Ezra offers AI-powered MRI technology to give a precise overview of the body. Their diagnostic facilities can help detect more than 500 health conditions in up to 13 organs.

Their website features a 5-minute test that allows you to understand your risk factors for cancer before opting for their full-body scan. The test uses the Harvard Cancer Risk Index.

Their basic packages include:

  • Full Body Plus at $2,500 in 60 minutes: Covers the whole body including the spine and lungs
  • Full Body scan at $1950 in 60 minutes: Does not scan the lungs
  • Flash Body scan at $1350 in 30 minutes: Omits the spine and lungs

Other products include couples and family packages, which are less expensive.

They also create 3-year or 5-year personalized health plans based on their comprehensive scan results.

Fountain Life

Fountain Life offers a wide variety of scans to choose from, yet you need to become an Apex member first to have access to any of them. The goal is to provide members with vital knowledge to make educated choices about their health.

Their Apex membership costs $19,500 per year and grants you access to the following scans:

  • Full-body and Brain MRI with AI
  • Coronary CT Angiography with AI
  • Bone Density & Body Composition Scan
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Low Dose Lung CT with AI
  • Retinal Scan with AI Read
  • AI-Powered Skin Cancer Screen
  • Accurate body fat and muscle distribution readings for insight into metabolic health

Your reports can fill up to 150 GB of space online.


simonONE’s scans assess over 100 body structures and include:

  • Body scan from $650: Scans from the head to the pelvis
  • Body plus scan from $1250: Includes extra features such as imaging of the reproductive organs and the blood vessels in the head and neck, as well as FDA-approved AI imaging enhancements

Their comprehensive scanning option provides increased clarity for individuals vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease, brain aneurysms, and reproductive cancers.

Field Strength

The field strength is the potency of the magnetic field used to produce images. Most conventional MRI scanners use a 1.5 Tesla (T) magnetic field strength. Advanced scanners are making use of 3T magnets. The double field strength helps reduce scan times and double up the accuracy of each image.

Prenuvo is an exception. Instead of using a 3T magnet, the creators improved the accuracy of the scanner sensors and added body coils to the equation to improve imaging quality. They state that a 3T magnet induces up to 4 times the amount of body heat and that they do not necessarily produce better quality.

3T imaging may produce better-quality imaging of the extremities and brain, yet not of the internal torso compartments in comparison to 1.5T models.


All the companies reviewed offer the following MRI features to enhance comfort:

Wide Bore: MRI machine bore is the center of the machine that houses the magnet.[6] Conventional MRI machines house small bores of 60cm or less. The latest MRI scanners possess wide bores of up to 70 cm.

Open Bore: Open-bore MRI machines are not fully enclosed, which helps minimize panic attacks and claustrophobia.

Electronic Entertainment: Streaming music and having access to television channels help patients to lay comfortably through scans of up to an hour.


Most companies offer online access to results with the option of consulting with a specialist for interpretation.

Ezra provides results within 5-7 business days through a discussion on Zoom, followed by an email.

The Prenuvo website mentions that reports generally take around 10-15 business days to be delivered.

simonONE offers interpretation within 5-7 days of the exam.

Vitalscan results are ready within 3 days, prepared by specialist radiologists. It costs users 100 GBP extra to book a consultation for interpretation.

Information about Fountain Life’s result delivery time is unclear.

Insurance Coverage

Full-body MRI scans are not yet insured. Most companies and technologies are HSA and FSA approved.

With more time and research, the technology will slowly revolutionize the healthcare system and become more widely available. When this happens, insurance companies will likely start covering the costs involved.

Limitations of Full-Body MRI Scans

Many companies offering full-body scans for early cancer detection state that it can extend your lifespan or save on long-term medical costs. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Experts explain that the chances of the scanner detecting a life-threatening anomaly are limited to under 2%.[7] Yet, in such rare instances, they can help individuals receive an early diagnosis and preventive treatment for cancer and other diseases.

Contraindications: Full-body MRI scanning is not suitable for pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions, and those with implants, including pacemakers. It is also not a suitable choice for those who are phobic of confined spaces or unable to sit still for a scan.[8]

False positives: One of the main limitations of full-body scanners is the odds of receiving false positive results.

In a review from 2019, studies revealed that full-body MRI scanners pose an average false-positive result rate of 16%. This finding implies the need for other technologies, such as a CT scan, which can expose one to radiation, to confirm the results.. Experts explain that the accuracy improves across multiple scans.[9]

Safety: Some full-body MRI scanners use powerful magnets that can raise body temperature after prolonged exposure. While scan times are minimal, there is a lack of data that can evaluate the long-term safety of such a practice.

Availability: Most full-body MRI machines are not widely accessible yet and can only be found in select centers in the US, Canada, UK, and several European countries.


Full-body MRI scans offer a non-invasive and comprehensive approach to cancer screening with high accuracy and resolution. They can detect various cancers and other health issues, making them a valuable tool for early detection and treatment. While they have some limitations, advancements in technology and research may lead to increased accessibility and coverage by insurance companies. With the potential to save lives through early cancer detection, full-body MRI scans are a promising advancement in the fight against cancer.

To search for the best Oncology Doctors and Oncology Healthcare Providers worldwide, please use the Mya Care search engine.

To search for the best doctors and healthcare providers worldwide, please use the Mya Care search engine.


  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [3]
  • [4]
  • [5]
  • [6]
  • [7]
  • [8]
  • [9]

Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. The views expressed are personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mya Care. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials in this blog without prior written permission from