Experience of a Vector prostate biopsy

After David received a raised PSA blood test, he was very apprehensive about having a prostate biopsy. He’d heard lots of negative stories from friends and even cancelled his holiday to Cornwall as he was worried about side effects. To his surprise, a new technique called Vector prostate biopsy meant his procedure only took around 45 minutes, he suffered no side effects, and was able to carry on with his normal routine straight away.

David, now retired, started his career as a diagnostic radiographer before becoming a medical magazine publisher and knows it’s important to look after his health. When he experienced unexpected weight loss, his GP advised him to have a series of tests including a PSA blood test and be screened for prostate cancer, despite not having any symptoms. David’s background meant he was familiar with the tests he was going to need, such as an MRI scan and biopsy. However, his friend had undergone three biopsies before being diagnosed and he was worried he might face the same.

David explains: “I’d never given a PSA test much thought before because I hadn’t experienced any prostate cancer symptoms. When my test results came back showing I had a PSA level of 10 ng/ml I was quite surprised. My GP told me I’d need further tests and because I have private medical insurance I was asked if there was anyone I had a preference to see.

“With my knowledge of diagnostics, I researched prostate biopsy techniques which would be less invasive and give a more accurate result and came across Mr Christof Kastner, a urologist at GenesisCare in Cambridge who I was quickly referred to. Following an MRI scan, it was confirmed I would need a prostate biopsy. Mr Kastner then explained a new procedure called a Vector prostate biopsy. This promised a reduction in complications, and it was clear this procedure was the way to go.”

Mr Christof Kastner shares: “All men with a normal anatomy in their prostate region with a confirmed raised PSA blood test and abnormalities in their MRI are eligible for a Vector prostate biopsy. This special type of biopsy allows improved access to the entire prostate by entering through the perineum, an area located just below the pubic arch. David tolerated the biopsy exceptionally well, and within 45 minutes he returned home.”

David’s experience of a Vector prostate biopsy

David was concerned about the side effects of his vector prostate biopsy and cancelled his planned family holiday to Cornwall. Despite his concerns about the procedure, he was eager to get it done and over with as soon as possible.

David explains: “Whilst Mr Kastner reassured me there was no reason why I couldn’t travel immediately after, I didn’t want the worry of being uncomfortable or experiencing side effects whilst away so we opted to postpone our trip. I needn’t have worried as I didn’t have any side effects at all.

“The procedure was a bit of a non-event if I’m honest. I had it done with a local anaesthetic and felt no discomfort during or following the procedure. I went straight home after and although I took it a little easy, I was absolutely fine. My results came back very quickly and whilst a prostate cancer diagnosis has been confirmed, I feel very grateful to have had access to this type of biopsy, it completely made me feel at ease following my previous concerns.”

What is a Vector prostate biopsy?

The Vector prostate biopsy is gaining recognition as a more patient-friendly and precise approach to prostate biopsies, an innovative diagnostic option and comfortable alternative to the traditional transrectal ultrasound-guided (TRUS) biopsy. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and patients return home the same day. Using MRI visual tracking and a core biopsy needle, the Vector prostate biopsy accurately collects samples by entering through the perineum, located just below the pubic arch. In contrast, a TRUS biopsy uses an ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum.


Comparison of a Vector prostate biopsy vs TRUS biopsy

Vector prostate biopsy TRUS biopsy
  • Improved access to the prostate gland, meaning a more accurate sample collection
  • Reduced infection complications
  • Shorter treatment times
  • Minimal side effects
  • Pain or discomfort in the rectum a few days after completion of the biopsy
  • Short-term bleeding resulting in an increased risk of infection
  • Increased side effects including acute urine retention

GenesisCare is first healthcare provider in the UK to offer this procedure which is available at its centres in Cambridge and Windsor.

Mr Christof Kastner explains: “A Vector prostate biopsy allows more convenience for patients, the procedure uses a less invasive technique and patients are more comfortable. The higher accuracy of accessing the entire prostate means patients experience extremely low infection and urine retention rates. For anyone who is concerned about a traditional TRUS biopsy, they should consider a vector prostate biopsy as an alternative.”

Starting radiotherapy at GenesisCare

David explains: “Since my diagnosis I’ve been referred to Dr Simon Russell at GenesisCare in Cambridge and I’ve started my radiotherapy. Whilst a cancer diagnosis isn’t what anyone wants, the care from GenesisCare really is something else – you feel like you’re their only patient and that’s really important! I’m lucky they found my cancer early, and I would encourage anyone who is concerned about prostate cancer to visit their GP.”

Picture: David Roberts and his wife Betty.

Submitted by GenesisCare on behalf of David Roberts, former radiographer and founder of RAD Magazine

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