Imaging Tests

Imaging tests may be helpful in diagnosing prostate cancer, pinpointing its location, and determining how advanced it is (its stage). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for example, can be helpful in staging. This test uses a magnetic field to produce pictures of structures inside the body. Another imaging test, transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) uses sound waves to create pictures. However, doctors generally use it to guide a biopsy, not for screening or diagnosis.

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Targeted prostate biopsies better at detecting dangerous cancers

Standard biopsies of the prostate gland often miss potentially aggressive prostate cancer. Adding MRI images to standard biopsies improves the detection of prostate cancer.

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FDA panel rejects high intensity focused ultrasound for early prostate cancer

An FDA advisory panel rejected a French company’s application to market high intensity focused ultrasound as a treatment for localized prostate cancer.

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What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?

This imaging technique, which uses a powerful magnet and a computer to generate pictures of the body’s organs and tissues, can be used to diagnose prostate cancer or pinpoint the tumor’s location.

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What is transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS)?

Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) can create images of the prostate gland using sound waves. Doctors may recommend TRUS when they suspect prostate cancer based on an abnormal DRE or an elevated PSA.

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Getting a closer look at prostate cancer with molecular imaging

Molecular imaging may help determine the location and extent of cancer — and point to the best treatment — especially metastatic cancers too small to be detected by CT or MRI scanning.

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Improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may aid detection of prostate cancer

Dr. Neil Rofsky, of Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses MRI technology, which patients might benefit from it, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of MRI as compared with other imaging modalities.

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