Holistic Health Show with Carl Helvie logoAfter 30 years without progress in screening methods, a new screening test has been identified for detecting prostate cancer. The only place in the southeast part of the United States offering the new technique – MRI-US image fusion technique, is the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Researchers say, “We are utilizing prostate MRI and fusing it with real time ultrasound for image-guided prostate biopsies; this can detect prostate cancer with high accuracy and it accurately targets lesions of concern defined by MRI.”

“This improves overall detection compared to standard biopsies and more importantly, has the potential to give clinicians and patients a more accurate picture of their true disease burden by allowing improvements in staging.”

The new technique allows direct tissue sampling of suspicious areas seen on MRI as opposed to the traditional method of random, systematically sampling that is essentially performed blind in different regions of the prostate.

Researchers say studies show the technique increases the overall cancer detection rate, increases the high risk detection rate, and improves staging for patients who are considering active surveillance where the doctor monitors low risk prostate cancer for changes.

The technique is a clinical based procedure, which can be performed under local anesthesia. The patient’s experience of this new biopsy compared to previous biopsy without MRI guidance is the same but with more accurate outcomes based on the targeted approach. The procedure has been offered for the past year at the University of Alabama.