MRI—a more precise way to diagnose prostate cancer
A new approach
When the possibility of prostate cancer appears, usually as the result of an elevated PSA level, the next step, traditionally, is to recommend a transrectal punch biopsy—which delivers a success rate of just 30-35%. That’s not good enough for us… or for you.
Here at Vitus, we prefer to use the most up-to-date procedures: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and MRI-guided and transperineal 3D mapping, giving a successful detection rate of 85-100%. So we can avoid unnecessary invasive procedures.
The traditional method
In a standard prostate cancer biopsy, the cancer can only be found if it happens to be in one of the places sampled. If no cancer is found, and the PSA level increases again, another biopsy is carried out, and so on, until the cancer is large enough to be detected or it’s detected by chance.
With this sort of transrectal biopsy, it is also possible that the danger of the cancer may be underestimated and, because it is an invasive procedure, there is always the chance of infection.
Our first step is always an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), by far the best imaging procedure for the prostate. With multimodal and 3D MRI images, cancer can be identified and precisely located with 85-100% success.
The MRI also shows if the cancer is only present in the prostate or has also moved into nearby tissue, and provides the basis for an MRI-guided biopsy.
If a biopsy is called for, we use a short-acting anesthesia and, under sterile conditions, gain access through the pelvic floor for a procedure that is painless, accurate, and carries no risk of infection.
To make sure we’ve found all the areas affected, we use ultrasound to locate all places on the MRI images that seem “suspicious”, then take several samples using a precise grid.
An elevated PSA (Prostate-specific Antigen) is often the first indicator of suspicion of prostate cancer, but it is never a diagnosis. So you may well ask: “How likely is it that I have prostate cancer if my PSA level is raised?”.