Whole Body MRI Cancer Screening

Whole Body MRI Cancer Screening

Screening for cancer risk

AdelaideMRI is pleased to announce a service for patients who are known to be at high risk of developing various cancers, based on a recent 10 year study that has validated this role for Whole Body MRI.

Is Whole Body MRI covered by Medicare?
Whole Body MRI is not covered by Medicare, but a Whole Body MRI service can be requested by your family doctor.

How much does Whole Body MRI cost?
The cost is $800, and the scan will approximately take an hour. You can pay over the phone when you make your booking, or pay when you arrive for your scan. Note MRI scans are available at our Payneham and Woodville clinics.

How accurate is Whole Body MRI?
Like all screening studies, MRI can miss some tumours especially when they are small. Depending on how worried you and your doctor are, we may do a follow-up scan focusing on an area of concern. Follow-up scans will be shorter, at a lower cost. Please ask us for further details when you have your scan.

What published evidence is there for Whole Body MRI
Source: SBS World News 4 AUG – 9:48 PM UPDATED 4 AUG – 9:51 PM

The research was conducted over ten years and included clinics in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It found in almost one in ten participants, a previously-undetected primary cancer could be detected after one scan.

Dr Mandy Ballinger, lead researcher at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, said seven per cent of people who were screened picked up a new primary cancer that hadn’t been known about before.

“The findings are very significant,” she said. “This is the best evidence that we have so far that we can use whole-body MRI in this high-risk cancer population to detect cancers at an early stage.”

The study is centred on a hereditary condition known as Li-Fraumeni syndrome. The disease is caused by a genetic mutation that affects one in 2,500 people. Dr Ballinger said these patients are more susceptible to cancers anywhere in the body. “By the time people reach the age of 30, there is a 50 per cent chance that they will have had a cancer by that age. By the time they get to age 70, it’s almost 100 per cent chance of developing cancer for females, and it’s over 80 per cent for males. So it’s a really devastating syndrome for families.”

Researchers have found full-body MRIs are more effective for people at high genetic risk. A seven per cent detection rate is more than triple the rate of breast cancer detection in high-risk patients. Dr Ballinger hopes the findings will eventually lead the government to change that. “Certainly we would be aiming for a submission for a Medicare item number to be able to cover the cost of whole-body MRI in these people that are at extremely high lifetime risk.”


Medicare obstetric scans subject to new rules by Medicare.

All obstetric scans at Adelaide MRI will now attract a fee, with some scans eligible for a partial rebate.

All other Medicare eligible scans are still bulk billed at Adelaide MRI - ie: no upfront fee.

Adelaide MRI is committed to keeping all scans that do attract fees as affordable as possible.


Adelaide MRI are committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and staff.
In line with the guidelines issued by the Australian Department of Health for healthcare environments we are undertaking all the necessary precautions as well as some additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All sites continue to operate through this time of uncertainty. Should you require an appointment please call (08) 8440 7700 or (08) 8440 7799 and we'll aim to provide you with one promptly.

Effective Immediately, we are no longer opening Saturday mornings.

Payneham and Woodville sites will be open from 9am to 6pm Mon - Fri.

Elizabeth and Goodwood will be open from 9am to 5pm Mon - Fri.

NOW OPEN AT Torrensville from 9am to 5pm Mon - Fri.

Thank you for your understanding