Prostate Cancer and Prostate MRI

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only to lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer. *1 Prostate cancer awareness is essential for prevention, early detection and timely treatment. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the prostate is a complementary tool to other methods to aid in prostate cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment planning and management.

MRI is a technique used to image organs using radio waves and strong magnets. Endorectal prostate MRI scans can provide high resolution images of the prostate. You, in consultation with your caregiver, should consider Endorectal Prostate MRI in following cases:

  • Elevated PSA and/or negative TRUS biopsy: TRUS biopsy is done as a result of elevated PSA. TRUS biopsy involves taking tissue cores from different parts of the gland. Despite elevated PSA some patients have negative biopsy and thus have to undergo biopsy multiple times. High resolution images obtained by endorectal prostate MRI may help physicians guide biopsies for prostate cancer diagnosis.

  • Prostate Cancer Staging: Staging involves determining the location and extent of cancer. It is critical to know the extent of cancer spread as it plays an important role in determining the treatment options. High resolution images obtained by endorectal prostate MRI may help physicians determine if the cancer is localized to the gland or has spread outside to seminal vesicles or beyond.

  • Prostate Treatment Planning: Imaging can be useful in helping physicians plan surgery or radiation therapy.  MR images of the soft-tissue structures of the body including the prostate and other pelvic structures are clearer and more detailed than with other imaging methods. This detail makes MRI a valuable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of tumors.

  • Detecting Local Recurrence: Local recurrence occurs when prostate cancer returns after the gland has been removed. Endorectal prostate MRI images may be used to detect local recurrence.

More physicians are looking to MRI to help them image and stage prostate cancer. In addition to high image quality, MRI offers enhanced ability to target specific afflicted areas of the prostate for biopsy and treatment. In some cases this may result in better targeting of possibly cancerous areas and/or fewer side effects from biopsy and surgery.

This website provides prostate cancer information and details about endorectal prostate MRI imaging and how it might be able to aid in prostate cancer management.

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