When people hear about multiparametric MRI, accurate imaging of the prostate, they are always surprised that doctors are still doing random biopsies. The question always comes up, “Why are we still doing random biopsies, jabbing needles 12 times into the prostate gland?”
There are several answers to that, the most fair-minded one is that, there are only about a score of quality 3T multiparametric MRI centers that are up and running in the whole country and so, this is new information. Also, the doctors that would order them, family doctors and urologists, aren’t all familiar with the accuracy of this new technology of 3T multiparametric MRI. So they naturally default to an old standard, which is doing the biopsy, as all the literature is written in biopsy language.
Of course, we are treating cancer, no one wants to miss a cancer. The doctors are familiar with a biopsy and they are unfamiliar with a 3T multiparametric MRI. That is a common reason and very good explanation as to why there are still a lot of random biopsies going on.
You can also consider some, other less seemly reasons, the doctors who do the biopsies – get paid to do the biopsies, whereas they usually refer imaging out to another facility, where there is no financial incentive for them to do an imaging study. So doctors who must refer out, don’t have a financial incentive to encourage this new technology.
It is really the patient themselves, that are going to have to become aware of these alternatives, and make choices based on what they think is the right thing to do.