A cancer diagnosis is never an easy moment. But if it has to come, it’s better to get the news while the cancer is still small or new. Given recent advances in detecting adult cancers, oncology doctors are able to inform their patients about how to treat and heal after a cancer diagnosis.
When found in the early stages, one of the most treatable cancers currently is prostate cancer. With higher standards of preventative testing and more information readily available, more men are finding out that they have prostate cancer in its early stages. According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, and is also one of the leading causes of cancer death in men.
However, prostate cancer is not always fatal. In fact, many men with prostate cancer will require only watchful waiting rather than aggressive treatment. But by keeping annual check-ups and having routine prostate exams, men can catch prostate cancer earlier.
Know the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Do you know the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer? When prostate cancer is developing, men will sometimes notice:
- bloody urine,
- difficulty with or frequency of urination,
- and sexual dysfunction.
Do not ignore these early symptoms for fear of judgment or embarrassment, as early detection can be the key to a successful treatment plan. You’ll thank yourself later.
Early Detection with PSA Tests, Prostate Exams and Ultrasounds
The best way to detect prostate cancer is to schedule and keep regular check-ups with your primary care physician, perform PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests with urinalysis, as well as have regular prostate exams.
If your doctor finds a prostate problem, your next step may be to schedule an ultrasound imaging exam for further evaluation. Many of us closely associate ultrasounds with pregnant women. However, both men and women can benefit from ultrasound imaging. For men, ultrasounds can determine whether there is a cancer growth around the prostate, whether the prostate gland is enlarged, and can help determine the cause of a man’s infertility.
For men with the possibility of prostate cancer, having an ultrasound is the least painful and least invasive way for doctors to exam the prostate. Because of the location of the prostate, physicians and technicians must insert the transducer wand rectally in order to produce the best images. Because an ultrasound exam creates real-time results, doctors will often use them to guide biopsy wands in preparation for surgery. Although the procedure can be uncomfortable, patients should give primary importance to the information that doctors glean from these exams.
MRIs Are Often Used to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Historically, MRI methods for finding prostate cancer call for the use of endorectal coils for clarity purposes and to use contrast material. However, recent reports indicate that using a 3T MRI scan can eliminate the need for an endorectal coil while still conveying a strong probability of cancer cells in the prostate. Both of these experiences can be mildly uncomfortable for patients.
Doctors Imaging offers Diffusion-Weighted MRIs which are extremely beneficial to both finding and treating prostate cancer. Diffusion MRIs work to track the movement of water through the body’s systems. As water moves through the body and prostate glands, doctors can monitor the path. When the water behaves in an unfamiliar way, your doctor will be able to focus on that region and find the cancer cells.
Doctors Imaging first introduced the 3T MRI to New Orleans in 2006 and then developed protocols for 3T/ Diffusion Imaging scanning of the prostate. Doctors Imaging is also responsible for introducing prostate spectroscopy and dynamic contrast enhancement to the metro area, thus aiding in the successful treatment of hundreds of cases.
Are you concerned about the possibility of prostate cancer or disorder? To access up-to-date medical imaging equipment and radiological techniques for detecting prostate cancer, come to Doctors Imaging. Our patients always pay less than they would at the hospital. And you won’t have to compromise comfort or service.
Feel free to contact Doctors Imaging in Metairie at 504.883.8111 or request an appointment online.