Oh, that dreaded prostate exam. Yes, they’re uncomfortable, intrusive, and not at all something you look forward to. In fact, many men will delay a prostate exam for as long as possible, perhaps rescheduling the appointment just to put it off a little longer. This is unwise and can be dangerous, especially for men over 65 who are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
However, physical prostate exams may soon be a thing of the past, as new studies have proven MRI for prostate cancer screening to be quite effective. Men may be able to forego a physical exam in the future in favor of digital imaging, which is often more accurate (and less uncomfortable). It is still unclear whether an MRI can simply replace a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, or replace the entire cancer screening process altogether, but it is exciting to know that men will have access to even more precise diagnoses.
Better screening is needed because PSA testing, which is used when prostate cancer symptoms are present or a mass is detected in the prostate, is not always accurate. Aggressive prostate cancer can go undetected, as well as nonaggressive cancer, which could’ve been monitored through simple exams or digital imaging. A lack of early detection can unfortunately lead to more invasive testing.
Though MRIs are more costly up front, they may reduce total out-of-pocket expenses for unnecessary biopsies and other testing from inaccurate examinations and/or PSA levels. Since MRI results are available immediately, there is no need to waste time worrying while awaiting those biopsy results. The authors of one study, The Diagnostic Performance of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Detect Significant Prostate Cancer wrote that “The potential savings resulting from detecting and treating aggressive prostate cancer at an earlier stage, and avoiding unnecessary prostate biopsy and treatment of indolent prostate cancer could justify the cost of prostate MRI screening.”
MRIs for prostate cancer screenings will allow for easier and non-invasive testing with quick results, and our skilled radiologists look forward to offering this service to men interested in staying on top of their health. Questions about how we are advancing healthcare with the most sophisticated imaging technology, including open high-field MRI and non-contrast MRI? Call Independent Imaging at (561) 795-5558 today.