Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men after skin cancer. However, the disease can be extremely curable when diagnosed in the early stages.
The urologists at Comprehensive Urology in Los Angeles have access to the industry’s most cutting edge diagnostic and surgical tools. Whether obtaining a diagnosis for the first time or looking for a second opinion, men 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, offering men higher survival rates and better quality of life.
MRI Fusion Biopsy
The board certified and award winning team of prostate cancer specialists at Comprehensive Urology uses an enhanced imaging and diagnostic technique known as MRI fusion biopsy. Because cancer tumors are not always detectable on ultrasound exams alone, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) screenings can provide more detailed results. An MRI fusion biopsy goes a step further than the regular test. It merges the images and data from an ultrasound and MRI screening to offer urologists a more precise, accurate view of the prostate and more specifically the size, location, and severity of the tumor.
Prostate Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles
The expert urologists at Comprehensive Urology in Los Angeles are industry leaders in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. They operate on the philosophy that every patient is unique and one size does not fit all when it comes to treatment and care.
Patients can expect individualized, comprehensive exams and evaluations to determine the treatment plan most appropriate for their situation. Determining the right stage and grade of prostate cancer tumors is very important in devising an adequate treatment plan for each patient, and the state-of-the-art tools available at Comprehensive Urology help to yield clearer and more accurate results than ever before.
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 probe, the prostate can then be biopsied.
While these techniques have allows for urologists to provide needed help, the most important advances in prostate biopsies have been through consistently improving imaging technology. MRI imaging advancements now allow the team at Comprehensive Urology to identify many prostate cancers with unprecedented accuracy.
Ultrasound vs MRI Biopsies
During an actual prostate biopsy, however, ultrasound (not MRI) is used to guide the urologist. The difficulty to date has been how to translate the information from an MRI to the urologist who is using an ultrasound to perform the biopsy.
Advances in medical imaging technology now allow us to use the MRI images and overlay them on the ultrasound images in real time (MRI 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 samplings.
This technological advance has been revolutionary. At the time of the biopsy, we can now see the 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:
1. By missing the actual mass of the cancer and only hitting the side of the cancer, doctors can be fooled in to believing that the cancer is quite small when in reality it is quite sizable and potentially life-threatening.
2. 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 growing in their prostate, unknowingly. These lesions will typically present in a much more advanced stage where the overall prognosis for patient can now be quite limited. The importance of an MRI fusion biopsy cannot be overstated.
Prostate cancer is a disease which 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, however, patients need to ensure that their cancer is properly identified and diagnosed. MRI fusion target biopsies are a new, state-of-the-art procedure that can easily identify men who should be treated for prostate cancer.
At Comprehensive Urology, Dr. Kia Michel and his team of prostate cancer specialists can identify and treat this condition more effectively than ever. If you would like to be screened for prostate cancer, please contact us today.
A biopsy is a method which is used to identify prostate cancer in men. During a traditional biopsy, a tiny needle is used to remove tissue samples from the prostate gland. After these tissues are removed, the samples are studied underneath a microscope and evaluated for any abnormalities that could signify the presence of cancer.
However, due to the nature of the procedure, the results of biopsies have been less-than-ideal. Because biopsies are performed without a clear visual on the prostate gland, it’s impossible to accurately discriminate between the benign and cancerous areas of the prostate, leading to false-negative results and necessitating more biopsy procedures.
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 to be more comprehensive and effective than traditional 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 ultrasound image, allowing the specialists to easily identify cancer cells and differentiate them from normal, healthy cells. Once the cancer cells have been identified, a biopsy is performed. A needle is inserted directly into the cancerous region of the prostate (no guesswork is required) and tissue samples are taken from the gland.
MRI target 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.
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?
An MRI targeted biopsy, on the other hand, fuses ultrasound technology with MRI technology, creating a 3D model of the prostate that easily distinguishes between healthy and cancerous cells. Because there is no guesswork in an MRI targeted biopsy, the results are more accurate, allowing for proper treatment to begin almost immediately.
Q: Who should get a MRI target biopsy?
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