Why do we have scans all of a sudden as of 2013 for prostate cancer? We’ve had mammograms for years, we’ve had chest CTs for lung cancer – the problem has been the prostate gland is a very small gland and prostate cancers have such a similar appearance to the normal prostate gland that without the new technology you can’t clearly see the cancer inside the gland. Treatment has always been aimed at treating the whole gland, since it’s a small gland, that’s feasible — but with all the side effects like impotence and incontinence.
Now with new prostate imaging, very refined techniques can detect blood flow to the tumor and detect the way the water moves across these abnormalities. Multiparametric MRI and color Doppler ultrasound can actually see small cancers within the gland. We can track them, we can measure them, and observe them for any change over time. With sequential scanning every six to twelve months the comparisons over time give us incredibly important information – specifically, is the cancer growing or not.
As we know prostate cancer is very common and most of them are harmless. With this new imaging technology, we now have information to track these abnormalities without the need to treat everybody. Color Doppler ultrasound and multiparametric MRI are revolutionary new developments in the field of prostate cancer.