New PET Scan May Improve Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Accuracy
It is estimated that some 160,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the coming year. About 26,000 will die from this cause. Although often considered low-grade and low-risk due to its slow-growing nature, prostate cancer is not always non-aggressive. Some men will find their cancer poses a much greater threat due to a more aggressive nature. Others may find it has already spread to other locations in the body prior to diagnosis. Determining the nature of a prostate cancer tumor and whether it has spread to other locations in the body may soon become easier. A new PET scan procedure under study is showing great promise for offering better insights into this disease on a case-by-case basis.
The procedure that has the medical community abuzz involves the use of a newly developed PET radiotracer that has been proven to be both safe and effective. The tracer, called gallium-68, is used in conjunction with a PET scan to enable clinicians to see inside the body. The tracer essentially illuminates tumors and enables doctors to better see both early and advanced stage cancers. The end result is an image that can help determine stage and aggressiveness while enabling doctors to begin planning treatment.
Although still under study, the tracer has produced tremendous results so far. The tracer was able to detect bone lesions in patients with primary prostate cancer readily while also helping spot other prostate-cancer related concerns. No adverse side effects from its use were noted.
How soon the new diagnostic test might be made available on a widespread basis remains unclear. Researchers, however, believe the tracer may someday soon serve a strong role in helping detect and stage prostate cancer while providing guidance for treatments. So far, the tracer’s effectiveness is giving rise to a hope that it will not only make diagnostics easier, but also more accurate for both primary and metastatic tumors.
All men are at risk for prostate cancer as they age. With that in mind, it is recommended that men speak with their healthcare providers about their personal risks for prostate cancer and what screening measures might be appropriate in their cases. This conversation should take place around the age of 40 or so. When detected early, prostate cancer has a tremendously high survival rate thanks to a wide variety of available treatments. Someday soon the new tracer may help bolster the survival rate even more by improving the accuracy of diagnosis and helping guide doctors in making treatment recommendations.
PET / CT of Las Colinas was developed with both patients and physicians in mind and our services have been used for various types of disease; primarily in detecting, staging and monitoring cancer, but also in heart disease and brain disorders.
Pet / CT of Las Colinas was developed with both patients and physicians in mind and our services have been used for various types of disease.