How MRI Scans Are Revolutionizing Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests like biopsies may not work for prostate cancer, especially in people with very high PSA levels and bone scan that indicate cancer. Not all diagnostic tests for cancer can be used for every person. Doctors consider the type of cancer, signs and symptoms, age, and medical condition of the patient and results of previous tests when recommending a diagnostic test.

A recent groundbreaking clinical trial has revealed that men who had MRI scans could transform prostate cancer screening.

• The MRI scan is a 10-minute process that hopefully will offer the first reliable method for pointing out dangerous tumors. The scan is effective at differentiating aggressive tumors from benign ones that can remain safe even when untreated.

• Because prostate cancer progresses slowly, men at age 55 or 60 with a negative scan can be cleared or life. Because PSA tests provide false positives, MRI technology is the best thing that is going to transform prostate cancer diagnosis. The MRI overlooks al the cancers that don’t need a diagnostic test.

• The clinical trial is deemed to be a success because men do not have to worry about the biopsy needle in their prostate. The 10 minute MRI scan is a simplified version of the scan used to diagnose prostate cancer in high-risk men.

• Scientists will be assessing prostate tumors and their prevalence in the population. They anticipate that over 90% of the men will be found healthy while the others will be put on active surveillance or referred for treatment.

• If the results of the clinical trial are positives, then it will be proven that MRI scanning is a novel procedure that could provide a non-invasive prostate cancer diagnosis in the future.

Although its reliability and application in multiple cancer cases are not established, the use of MRI in prostate cancer will help to manage the assessment of prostate cancer. Studies are underway to assess if men with a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer that is very aggressive will show changes on the MRI when they develop prostate cancer. It is currently not certain that MRI alone will help in such an assessment.

About Author

Dr. Echt and his team at the Prostate Seed Institute offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the United States, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. These include prostate seed implantation, high dose radiation implants, and external beam radiation with image-guided and intensity-modulated (IGRT and IMRT) capabilities.