MRI Screening for Prostate Cancer
The MRI Scanning trial at UCLH highlighted in the national news brings hope of increased and improved prostate cancer screening for the UK’s number one male cancer causing 47,000 new cases and nearly 12,000 deaths each year. MRI scanning is now the best way to see if there is an aggressive, dangerous cancer inside the prostate gland but the first step to find out is to have a PSA blood test. The NHS “Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme” entitles all men over 50 and men with a family history of prostate cancer or black men of African or Caribbean heritage over age 45 to have a PSA test. If the PSA test is persistently abnormal and there is no simple explanation, the next step is an MRI scan. If the scan is normal, the risk of an underlying dangerous cancer is extremely low so there is no need to go on to have invasive prostate biopsies and many men are now spared this potentially dangerous test. If the scan does show up an abnormality, biopsies can now be targeted with much greater accuracy.
Remember, the first step is a PSA test so check it now – don’t wait for symptoms to arise!