New Techniques in Prostate Cancer Imaging
Traditionally radiologists have used MRI and MRSI to aid in the diagnosis and staging of Prostate Cancer. Today newer imaging techniques such as MR diffusion and MR perfusion imaging have been added to better detect and help plan the treatment of Prostate Cancer. The UC Department of Radiology uses these advanced imaging techniques to help guide physicians and patients decisions about treatment options.
Diffusion imaging provides information on the degree of cellular crowding, which is worse where cancer cells are rapidly turning over. Perfusion imaging provides a map of blood flow. An increase of blood flow can indicate an increase of cancer cells. The benefit of perfusion imaging is still being studied in relation to the treatment of prostate cancer.
With these new imaging techniques, radiologists can provide physicians and patients more information to help decide on treatment options specifically when to remove or spare neurovascular bundles. Since the neurovascular bundles play a significant role in a patient’s life in regards to urinary continence and sexual potency, it’s important that physicians and patients have the most information possible.