Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, second only to lung cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates one in nine men will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetimes.
For patients who experience increasing PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels and negative ultrasound-guided biopsies, Lake Medical Imaging offers a groundbreaking MRI/Ultrasound fusion exam that significantly improves the accuracy of prostate cancer biopsy. This innovative new technology eliminates some of the worry and confusion in diagnosing and managing the disease.
For decades, prostate biopsies were traditionally performed under ultrasound guidance and utilized the random sample method of collecting 12 to 24 samples from the prostate. In contrast, MRI/Ultrasound fusion, introduced to The Villages® medical community by Lake Medical Imaging Radiologist Dr. Chiedozie “Tony” Mkpolulu, provides greater precision by accurately targeting the area of the prostate that requires a biopsy.
A series of MRI images are taken of the prostate and its surrounding area. The radiologist reads the images and is able to indicate abnormal areas or suspicious lesions. The images with the precise markings are then transferred electronically to the procedure room, where the patient’s urologist performs the biopsy under transrectal ultrasound guidance. With the MRI-fusion images, the exact area to be sampled is visualized and the needle guided to the specific spot.
“With this technology, we are able to better localize sites of potential cancer from within the complex vasculature of the prostate and give our patients and their referring physicians additional information to support a more accurate diagnosis and to help them plan the best treatment options,” states Dr. Mkpolulu.
“The MRI-fusion biopsy can detect hidden tumors that might have been missed with ultrasound biopsy alone,” he continues, “and can enhance patient comfort and safety by reducing the number of biopsies needed.”
Patients who might be candidates for the MRI/Ultrasound-guided fusion biopsy include those who either have had elevated PSA scores, abnormal findings on digital rectal exams, or a history of negative traditional biopsies with a continued concern for cancer.