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Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Can any other tests help determine the likelihood of prostate cancer?

A multi-parametric MR imaging test (mp-MRI) has been shown to identify areas in the prostate suspicious for cancer. Mp-MRI uses 2-3 sophisticated interpretations of digital information from the scan to allow the radiologist to identify these abnormality. It is now known that the accuracy of MRI is superior to any laboratory test available so far. Although the quality is outstanding, mp-MRI cannot diagnose prostate cancer alone and it also cannot fully exclude prostate cancer either. A biopsy is most commonly still required. However, it can give valuable information regarding the risk of prostate cancer, if it is normal, and suspicious areas can be targeted using MRI-US fusion technology. CUP works closely with the Radiologists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital who are accredited experts in reading Prostate mp-MRI.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

Men should undergo an mp-MRI first. This will allow an initial assessment prior to transperineal prostate biopsy using guidance by fusion the MRI to the life ultrasound. Few patients will need to undergo a TRUSP prostate biopsy  in order to establish the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prostate biopsy involves taking several cores of prostate tissue using an ultrasound probe placed in the rectum, and is usually done under a short general anaesthetic.The biopsy will give information such as the grade of the tumour (how aggressive the cancer looks), which is called the Gleason score.

A microscopic picture of a prostate biopsy showing a Gleason grade 3 tumour. The grade is determined by what the cells look like under the microscope.

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