INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Sept. 23, 2015)-- Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Many still choose not to get prostate screenings because they believe they will cause side effects or believe the testing is not accurate.
IU Health doctors are using an MRI machine combined with ultrasound technology that has improved accuracy on prostate biopsies.
“About 30,000 men die of prostate cancer each year,” said IU Health Dr. Clint Cary.
More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Many men are still choosing to skip their prostate screening.
“I think that we should screen men for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Cary.
Doctors say the tests are easy. A simple blood test will check protein levels in the prostate.
If a man’s protein levels are elevated, that could mean he has an enlarged prostate or possibly prostate cancer.
“If you do get screened and find an elevated PSA, a prostate biopsy is the next procedure,” said Dr. Cary.
IU Health is the only hospital in the state using a new technology to get a more accurate prostate biopsy. The technology is called UroNav.
“We have been using this technology for over a year now and we have found cancer in 50 percent of men who have used UroNav technology,” said Dr. Cary.
The new technology uses MRI images and ultra sound technology to get a better look at the prostate tissue.
“This allows us to find more cancer and the cancer that we find is potentially more life threatening. It can also move men on to the appropriate treatment and get them correct treatment,” said Dr. Cary.
Doctors say there isn't a single symptom that would be a telltale sign of the cancer.
“The symptoms of prostate cancer are very similar to those of the enlarged prostate. Some men may notice they have trouble urinating or a decreased force of their urinary stream,” said Dr. Cary.
Doctors say those factors make it even more important to get screened.
“If you have a low-grade tumor, you don’t need to be very aggressive with your treatments. If you have an aggressive treatment, you need to be more aggressive with treatment. Surgery, radiation,” said Dr. Cary.