MRI in prostate cancer diagnosis

Author(s): Dr Tristan Barrett

Hospital: Addenbrooke's Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 42, 488, 13-14


Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, with 41,736 men in the UK diagnosed with the disease in 2011, and the incidence continues to increase. However, introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing has shifted the risk profile of the disease: the majority of men now present with low risk disease, with an overall cancer-specific 10-year survival of 84%. There is debate as to whether low grade Gleason score 6 disease even meets sufficient biological criteria to be labelled as cancer and current practice recommends no treatment for men with such indolent disease because the risks of treatment outweigh the benefits. Conversely, prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in UK men, and high grade disease requires radical therapy. This dichotomy has led to an urgent need to both diagnose prostate cancer and to accurately risk stratify patients for appropriate management.

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