After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men. However, this disease can be curable when diagnosed in the early stages, making it critical that men be screened for the disease once they hit a certain age. With today’s technology and innovations, prostate cancer is a very treatable disease, but the first step starts with the patient choosing to undergo a screening.
With a collective experience of over 125 years, the urologists at Comprehensive Urology are equipped with the industry’s cutting-edge diagnostic and surgical tools. Whether obtaining a diagnosis for the first time or looking for a second opinion, our specialists can get faster and more accurate results than ever before. With new imaging techniques and highly refined, minimally invasive procedures, prostate cancer screenings and biopsies have come a long way in the last few decades, allowing us to offer men higher detection and survival rates and a better quality of life.
Prostate cancer is a disease that has many treatment methods, but patients must be very careful when selecting a treatment option that is suitable for them. Many factors go into deciding the proper form of therapy, including a patient’s age, the extent of his cancer, its level of aggression, and more.
Before determining a treatment method, patients need to ensure that their cancer is properly identified and diagnosed. MRI fusion target biopsies are a new procedure that can easily identify men who should be treated for prostate cancer.
How MRI Targeted Biopsies Work
An MRI targeted biopsy removes all the guesswork present in traditional biopsies. During an MRI targeted biopsy, prostate cancer specialists use MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultrasound images together to be more comprehensive and accurate than traditional biopsy measures.
When performing an MRI targeted biopsy, specialists use magnetic resonance imaging to create a 3D image of a patient’s prostate. This image is then superimposed onto the live ultrasound image, allowing the specialists to better identify targets and differentiate them from normal, healthy cells. A needle is inserted directly into the marked (and likely cancerous) region of the prostate (no guesswork is required) and tissue samples are taken from the gland.
MRI targeted biopsies have made prostate cancer identification much more accurate and comprehensive. Prior to the advent of target biopsies, an estimated 38% of cancer cases were misidentified by traditional biopsy procedures. Since prostate cancer is best treated early, proper identification is incredibly important when treating the disease.
For more information on MRI fusion biopsy, visit WebMD.com or schedule a comprehensive consultation with our specialists.
Traditionally, a urologist performs a prostate biopsy through the use of an ultrasound probe into the patient’s rectum. As the prostate is found in front of the rectum, this allows the prostate to be seen and evaluated during the procedure. With the guidance of the ultrasound images, tissue samples can be taken from different locations in the prostate (i.e. prostate biopsy).
While this techniques provides some degree of guidance for the urologist to obtain biopsy samples, it is far from perfect. In fact, the most important advances in prostate biopsies have been through consistently improving imaging technology. Multi-parametric MRI imaging advancements that are tuned specifically towards detecting abnormalities in the prostate gland now allow our team at Comprehensive Urology to identify many prostate cancers with unprecedented accuracy.
During an actual prostate biopsy, live ultrasound imaging (not MRI) is used to guide the urologist. The difficulty to date has been how to simultaneously provide the information from an MRI test to the urologist who is performing the biopsy using a rectal ultrasound device as the guide.
Advances in medical imaging technology now allow us to use the MRI images (obtained prior to the biopsy day) and overlay them on the ultrasound images in real time (i.e. MRI ultrasound fusion biopsy or simply “MR Fusion Biopsy). That means that we are able to use the MRI as a real-time map when doing an ultrasound evaluation of the prostate. We are therefore no longer performing relatively blind biopsies, but in fact are able to have very targeted, precise prostate sampling.
This technological advance has been revolutionary. At the time of the biopsy, we can now see the suspected lesions and accurately biopsy them. This leads to more precise diagnoses and fewer repeat biopsies for patients.
The following are some examples of how an ultrasound biopsy can easily miss significant prostate cancers:
- By missing the actual mass of the cancer and only hitting the side of the cancer, doctors can be fooled into believing that the cancer is quite small when in reality it is quite sizable and potentially life-threatening.
- Depending on the location of the prostate cancer or the size of the cancer, an unguided biopsy can miss the cancer altogether. In this situation, a patient is erroneously told that they are cancer-free while there is a dangerous cancer unknowingly growing in their prostate. These lesions will typically be present in a much more advanced stage where the overall prognosis for the patient can now be quite limited. The importance of an MRI fusion biopsy cannot be overstated.
Q: What can I expect after my biopsy?
Q: How long is the procedure?
Q: Why is an MRI targeted biopsy better than a normal biopsy?
Q: Who should get an MRI targeted biopsy?
Contact a Prostate Cancer Specialist Today
If you have any additional questions about prostate cancer screening and diagnosis, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Comprehensive Urology today. Our urological specialists are experts in their field and have treated over 100,000 patients from all around the world. As pioneers of robotic and minimally invasive prostate cancer surgeries, you can rest assured that you’re in the best hands possible when visiting our center.
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