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MRI Now Used to Detect Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's one of the deadliest.
"Prostate cancer is probably 60 to 70 percent of patients I see," said Dr. Shaheen Alanee, director of SIU Urologic Oncology.
Dr. Alanee says developing prostate cancer depends primarily on your race, age, and your family history.
"If you have a male who has a father or a brother that was diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age, then my chance of having prostate cancer is two to four times higher than everyone else in the population," Dr. Alanee said.
To test the men who are being evaluated for prostate cancer, Dr. Alanee would traditionally use an ultrasound guided biopsy, which is a large needle that grabs approximately fourteen tissue samples from the patients prostate.
"They don't know what to expect, and it is very painful," said SIU nurse, Shannon Standridge. "We use a local medication to try and help numb it up."
Now doctors are using magnetic resonance imaging, also known as an MRI, to detect any cancer in the prostate for a painless and more accurate reading.
"Because the biopsy samples only one percent of the prostate, we have to make sure that the rest of the prostate doesn't have a more invasive cancer and that we can watch this patient safely," Dr. Alanee said.
Dr. Alanee says the MRI is already detecting cancer in areas a biopsy did not.
"The MRI shows us the prostate, shows us if there are any other liaisons in the prostate that we have to biopsy, and if those other liaisons are a low-risk prostate cancer, then it is safe to watch this patient," Dr. Alanee said.
Dr. Alanee adds that invasive biopsies may still be needed to test the tissue for cancer, however when using the MRI before a biopsy, it will help identify patients who need immediate biopsies and those who can be deferred.