Increasing the Odds of Prostate Cancer Detection

Excerpt:

“For three years, Andrew Harder wondered if he had prostate cancer. In 2009, he had routine blood work that revealed an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. When PSA is above 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood, it can be one of the first signs of a prostate tumor. Harder’s PSA was 9.

“By the time Harder saw a urologist, it had skyrocketed to 20. His doctor recommended the traditional next step: a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsy, which involves taking random tissue samples from 12 cross sections of the prostate.

“Over the course of two years, Harder, 60, an MRI technologist, would have three TRUS biopsies. They were all inconclusive.”

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MRI Helps Diagnose Prostate Cancer More Accurately

“In a world first, an Australian clinical trial has shown that biopsy guided by MRI can significantly improve the diagnosis of life-threatening prostate cancer and reduce the over-diagnosis of non-life-threatening cases, thus avoiding the side effects of unnecessary treatment.

“At present, to find out if he has prostate cancer – following a test that shows he has raised prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels – a man has to undergo a painful procedure called transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy (TRUSGB) that involves taking up to 30 random needle biopsies of his prostate through the rectum.”