How do we diagnose Prostate Cancer?
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a powerful tool for diagnosing and following prostate cancer. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed images of the prostate gland. MRI does not use or produce radiation and is not associated with radiation risks or effects.
A bone scan is a special type of radiologic study in which a small quantity of a radiotracer is injected into the patient’s bloodstream and allowed to be absorbed the bones and other organs. Prostate cancer metastases typically produce bone and absorb a greater amount of the radiotracer than normal bone.
Computed tomography, or CT scans, can be used to follow prostate cancer and detect metastases. CT scanners use a series of x-rays and powerful computers to create 2 and 3-dimensional images of the body.
PET/CT is a special technique used to stage prostate cancer and is particularly useful in patients with metastases. Positron emission tomography utilizes abnormal uptake of modified amino acids (fluciclovine F-18, also known as Axumin) by prostate cancer cells in conjunction with a CT scan to show sites of disease. This technique is more sensitive for finding metastases than CT alone.