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MRI guided prostate biopsy: A more accurate tool (video)

By The Health News Team | April 25, 2024

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 3.3 million men in the U.S. are living with prostate cancer, which grows in the prostate gland that sits below the bladder and produces semen. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly. However, some forms are aggressive and can spread quickly, making early detection — primarily through prostate cancer screening — and closely watching the cancer, known as surveillance, vital.

The ACS recommends men speak to their health care provider about whether they should begin screening for prostate cancer at age 50 or at age 45 if there is a family history of prostate cancer. These exams are generally performed by a primary care physician.

“When exams are done, if there is concern for possible prostate cancer, like elevated PSA level or abnormal findings on a digital rectal exam, a prostate MRI may be recommended,” says Dr. David Hatcher, a board-certified urologist affiliated with Sharp Memorial Hospital.

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test measures the level of a protein made by cells in the prostate. If your PSA level is high, the chance of having prostate cancer goes up. However, there is no specific level that can tell for sure if a man does or doesn’t have prostate cancer. If your PSA level is high, further tests, such as a prostate MRI, would be recommended.

Providing a more accurate diagnosis

According to Dr. Hatcher, if a prostate MRI shows lesions that are suspicious for prostate cancer, an MRI fusion prostate biopsy will be recommended to accurately target these lesions for diagnostic purposes. With this technology, Sharp is able to more accurately diagnose men with prostate cancer.

“If a man is diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, it may be recommended that they be put on an active surveillance schedule,” says Dr. Hatcher. “Theoretically, a patient with less aggressive prostate cancer could remain on surveillance for their lifetime if there is no evidence of cancer progression.”

Active surveillance involves regular check-ins with a doctor that include blood tests and sporadic follow up prostate biopsies. “If more aggressive cancer is discovered while on surveillance, curative treatment is recommended,” Dr. Hatcher says.

Watch the video to learn more about what to expect during an MRI guided biopsy at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Learn more about prostate cancer treatment options at Sharp HealthCare; get the latest health and wellness news, trends and patient stories from Sharp Health News; and subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking the "Sign up" link below.

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