1 in 4 men who get the all clear from a biopsy actually have significant prostate cancer
When facing a cancer diagnosis, we would all want a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ so we understand what’s ahead of us. But when it comes to diagnosing prostate cancer, results are rarely that conclusive. Inaccurate diagnostic tests mean many men are faced with a ‘maybe’ or, worse still, are wrongly told they are cancer-free. A gift from you today can help us change this.
A better test is urgently needed
The current test for prostate cancer is called a TRUS (trans-rectal ultrasound) guided biopsy, where different parts of the prostate are sampled at random. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that cancerous cells will be sampled, and many men’s cancer is missed this way.
As with other cancers, the sooner it is diagnosed, the better the prognosis for treatment and survival. The terrible consequence of poor diagnosis is that cancer is found later, often once it has spread to the bone, at which point it may no longer be possible to cure it. Ultimately, men lose their lives needlessly.
...and scientists may just have found one
New research, which should publish soon, offers men the chance of a more accurate diagnosis by scanning their prostate using multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) before they have a TRUS guided biopsy. The multiple images taken by the mpMRI scanner can show if there is clinically significant cancer in the prostate – in other words, fast-growing cancer that needs treatment to stop it spreading. What’s more, the scan images can be used to target the biopsy, if they go on to have one. Those men with nothing suspicious on their scans can avoid having a biopsy, and can therefore avoid any unnecessary side effects of having a biopsy.
Help make this breakthrough a reality
We want mpMRI before biopsy to be available to all men. That’s why we’re working hard to make sure the equipment needed is in place. To do that, we will use our survey of MRI departments across the UK to tell the NHS where new scanners are needed.
What’s more, and because mpMRI before biopsy is a complex technique, you can help to make sure we can run a training programme for radiologists across the UK, giving them the confidence to interpret the scans and correctly rule the right men out of having a biopsy.
Your support will also help us develop standards for mpMRI before biopsy so that no matter where in the UK a man is scanned, he receives best practice.
mpMRI has the potential to change the way we diagnose prostate cancer and save lives. This is the best chance we’ve had to improve prostate cancer diagnosis in 30 years, but we can’t take it alone. We need your support to help make this breakthrough a reality.Send a gift today