Prostate cancer makes up a third of all cancers diagnosed each year in Australian men. Each year in Australia 20000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3300 will die from it. In fact, it is the second most common cause of cancer death and the risk of prostate cancer increases with age, with 1 in 8 men believed to be suffering from the disease by the age of 75. As such a prevalent and life threatening disease, it is vital to detect prostate cancer early. A recent technique that has been developed to aid in the early diagnosis of prostate cancer is an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guided prostate biopsy.
What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
An MRI is a type of scan providing detailed images of the soft tissue in the body. This makes it an effective option for the scanning of the prostate over other common examination methods, such as ultrasounds. Using a strong magnetic field, MRI machines can examine the prostate without the use of x-rays, making it safe.
How are MRI’s helping in the diagnosis of prostate cancer?
MRI techniques have improved dramatically in recent years. With new MRI techniques experienced doctors to visualise the internal structure of the prostate and detect areas that are suspicious for prostate cancer with a high degree of accuracy. The MRI doesn’t diagnose the cancer but identifies a highly suspicious lesion that still needs to be biopsied. These suspicious lesions can then be targeted using a new technique known as an MRI guided prostate biopsy.
What is an MRI guided prostate biopsy?
When a suspicious lesion is detected within a patients prostate using an MRI, it may be recommended that the patient undergoes an MRI guided prostate biopsy. This is a relatively new technique whereby the patient is placed in the MRI machine, the patient undergoes an MRI and the suspicious lesion is identified. Once the lesion is identified it is targeted specifically with a needle biopsy as opposed to random biopsies that are performed using the standard transrectal ultrasounded guided prostate biopsy technique.
This revolutionary technique for diagnosing prostate cancer is only available at a few centres in Australia. Dr Swindle has extensive experience in MRI of the prostate and MRI guided prostate biopsies. You can organise a consultation with Dr Swindle at the Queensland Prostate Clinic by calling (07) 3010 3333 today.