Which Scan Is Best For Prostate Cancer?
Technological advancement in medical science has enabled doctors to use a wide variety of diagnostic modalities for detecting and managing prostate cancer; for example, a CT or Computed Tomography scan, PET or Positron Emission Tomography scan, Isotope Bone Scan, etc.
However, doctors and medical experts consider MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging the top pick concerning which scan is best for prostate cancer. It is because an MRI is superior in providing a detailed image of your prostate gland and the surrounding organs and tissues compared to other imaging tests.
In fact, many healthcare professionals state that an MRI is the proven-gold-standard modality for diagnosing prostate cancer at its early stage. Are you wondering why? Discover right below!
What Is An MRI For Prostate Cancer Screening?
An MRI is the imaging test where strong magnets are used to create cross-sectional images of your prostate gland on the computer screen. It is a non-invasive process and thus painless! This diagnostic modality reveals the anatomical structures of your prostate, especially the soft tissues, and thereby detects cancerous growth, if any.
The scan takes place in a radiology lab, clinic, or hospital, typically outpatient. During the scanning procedure, a radiologist team is at work. Once you enter the lab, they ask you to lie back on a moveable table and send you inside a semi-circular tube-shaped machine resembling a giant donut.
This scanner machine entails magnets in its walls, which help stimulate the atomic nuclei in the prostate cells to move out of their position. Thus, the radio waves generated from the computer console can trace the nuclei as they head back to their place, sending signals and displaying the image on the screen. This entire procedure requires nearly 40 to 45 minutes.
Then, you can go back home and wait for the report!
After assessing the images, your doctor may suggest a biopsy and use an MRI scan to guide the needles into your prostate. Yes. It means an MRI can help doctors directly target the lesions during the biopsy!
Why Do Doctors Prefer MRI Over Other Imaging Studies For Prostate Cancer Screening?
I must say that doctors’ inclination for MRI in the debate of which scan is best for prostate cancer is worthwhile! An MRI has multiple features that the other imaging tests miss!
• MRI scans are the safest diagnostic modality for cancer patients. You do not get exposed to radioactive rays; you have a minimal chance of further disease complications. Alas! A CT scan, mammogram, or PET scan involves radiation. Even pregnant women and children can avail of an MRI.
• An MRI scan can not only detect cancer accurately. It can show the size, shape, location, and number of cancers in your prostate with utmost precision and dexterity!
• Doctors prefer MRI because an MRI is more efficient in staging your cancer. They need to look for metastases (spread of cancer). They need to know how dangerous the cancer is growing.
• While other imagining tests, be it a CT Scan, PET, or mammogram, may not detect a cancerous growth at its early stage, an MRI outcasts the need for over-diagnosis and over-treatment, especially the 27% unnecessary biopsies that take place today!
When Do Doctors Avoid Recommending An MRI Scan For Prostate Cancer Screening?
There is a myriad of reasons why your doctor may avoid recommending an MRI scan for your prostate cancer screening.
• If you have a metallic implant in the body, whether a pacemaker, dental metallic clips, cochlear ear implants, or cardioverter defibrillator, your doctor may drop recommending an MRI. It is because the presence of metals during the scan may affect the clarity of the imaging.
• MRI scans are too expensive and not easily accessible. So, your doctor may preliminarily recommend a CT Scan or mammogram to detect the size and shape, and later an MRI for evaluating the extent if needed.
When Do Doctors Recommend An MRI For Diagnosing Prostate Cancer?
Doctors recommend an MRI scan for diagnosing prostate cancer based on your symptoms and physical examination during the appointment.
• Did you notice blood in your urine or semen?
• Do you have trouble urinating, pain, burning sensation, interrupted flow, or difficulty starting?
• Are you going to pee frequently and more at night?
• Do you experience pain in your testicles, back, thigh, and hip, accompanied by extreme fatigue?
• Have you lost your appetite?
• Are you going through an abnormal weight loss?
• Do you find ejaculation painful?
All these are signs that you may have prostate cancer. Your doctor needs to diagnose and confirm. Besides, if you have a family history of prostate cancer or are obese during your 50s, your doctor may recommend an MRI for prostate cancer screening. This is because you are at a higher risk of developing cancer.
How Accurate is An MRI In Diagnosing Prostate Cancer?
An MRI is more accurate in diagnosing prostate cancer when compared to other imaging tests. Therefore, the top choice concerning which scan is the best scan for prostate cancer!
• According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), an MRI holds 93% sensitivity in screening prostate cancer.
• NCBI also notes that MRI has a 96% negative predictive value in prostate cancer screening. It means the possibility for your negative test result to stay unaffected, or maybe the particular gene mutation in question is 96%.
• GLOBOCAN studies show that an MRI is 93% accurate in diagnosing prostate cancer, while a biopsy is only 48% accurate.
• In 2022, a research team in New Zealand and Australia investigated whether an MRI scan is more accurate in detecting prostate cancer. They presented their findings to the Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology in 2022. As per the findings, an MRI holds greater accuracy.
By now, you know why an MRI is considered the gold-standard method for prostate cancer diagnosis. I hope the article served its purpose.
If you see any red alerts of prostate cancer, as mentioned above, you must visit a doctor. Your doctor shall examine and recommend the best scan for you.
Are you in search of an MRI in Chandigarh for prostate cancer screening? Visit our website www.mrichandigarh.com, and book your test, as per your schedule, at a discounted price from the best diagnostic labs in Chandigarh!