Normally, early diagnosis of prostate cancer depends largely on the result of the prostate specific antigen, (PSA) blood test along with a digital rectal examination. Both tests are non-specific, therefore a positive result can trigger performance of a prostate biopsy to confirm diagnosis.
Ultrasound guided prostate biopsy is the basis for diagnosis of PCa. But, of those patients who undergo biopsy due to digital rectal examination and/or a PSA suggestive of prostate cancer, 60% have no malignancy detected on histology. In other words, this means that 60 patients out of every 100 undergo an invasive procedure, with possible adverse effects, but with benign result.
The high percentage of initially negative biopsies, which are then repeated afterwards, involve considerable healthcare costs and impact negatively on patients’ quality of life because of the complications that can occur.
What does MRI contribute to prostate cancer diagnosis?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the study of the prostate requires modern MRI equipment and an expert radiologist in the technique. The study for suspected prostate cancer is performed using 3 sequences: T2, axial diffusion and perfusion study.
|With 3T MRI it is possible to identify cancerous
tissue (especially when it is more aggressive), which can change the protocol for diagnosis of these tumours.
It makes it possible to determine from where to take the biopsy. The traditional ultrasound- guided method, performed rectally, is imprecise and tumors cannot be visualised, therefore traditional biopsy does not detect many tumours.
|MRI most reliable for patients who have already
undergone prostate biopsy, should PSA continues to rise, a further biopsy may be needed. MRI nables to see whether the prostate is normal and assess areas/foci which are suggestive of cancer, identifying areas suggestive of cancer, thus avoiding any invasive biopsy if the MRI is normal, and no suspicious areas are found.
|MRI is also very useful in patients with elevated PSA and normal digital rectal examination when a first biopsy is being considered.
In these cases, MRI will indicate the need to perform a prostate biopsy in areas where cancer is suspected. If the MRI is normal, without
suspicious foci, biopsy can be avoided.
3 TESLA MRI OFFERS HIGHER PRECISION IN A SHORTER TIME.
The 3 Tesla MRI machine has a more powerful magnet producing better images of theorgans and soft tissue than other types of MRI. The high-quality images obtained allow radiologists to differentiate with precision between benign and malignant lesions and with more certainty, leading to an earlier and more accurate diagnosis. The equipment also improves the ability to see smaller prostate tumours.
From the healthcare point of view, patient comfort is improved because when higher quality images are obtained in a shorter time, the patient’s waiting time is reduced. Within the area of molecular imaging, it provides new possibilities for early cancer diagnosis.
Whilst innovative diagnostic imaging is being implemented widely due to scientific endorsement, it is certainly still not available in all centres. At HC Marbella we already provide 3T MRI, ensuring an improved and faster diagnosis whilst improving patient experience.