BBC Article says MRI scan could provide reliable Prostate Cancer screening
Sunday, 22nd December 2019
A large new trial is testing whether MRI scans could be an effective way to screen men for prostate cancer, in a similar way to mammograms offered to women to check for breast cancer.
In this article for the BBC, leading expert Prof Mark Emberton explains why finding a suitable screening method for this common male cancer is vital but has proved difficult so far.
"Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, with around 130 new cases diagnosed in the UK every day and more than 10,000 men a year dying from the disease.
"Unfortunately, the way we currently spot the disease is not very precise.
"Traditionally, we have used a blood test looking for raised levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and then carried out a biopsy which means taking some tissue from the prostate gland to examine under the microscope.
"But PSA levels are not a reliable indicator of prostate cancer - about 75% of men who get a positive result are not found to have cancer, while it misses the cancer in about 15% of men with prostate cancer.
"So we currently diagnose cancers that are harmless, leading to unnecessary investigations and operations, and we miss cancers that are harmful, leaving the disease to multiply and move around the body unchecked."
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