MRI 45% More Successful Than Prostate Biopsy

by Ben Ong
Reading Time: 3 minutes

MRI

Most of my readers will know that I adamantly recommend against the prostate biopsy procedure other than in a handful of special circumstances. Instead, what I recommend is the Advanced Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment (APCRA) which includes a live, real-time scan of the prostate.

In conjunction with a range of tests, our expert professionals produce a detailed analysis and report which assesses the likelihood of there being prostate cancer that has the potential to be life-threatening. But the cost of my APCRA is $4075. Not everybody can afford that straight off the bat.

A Less Expensive Alternative

For years now I have suggested that a less expensive alternative to my APCRA is a three Tesla multi-parametric MRI scan. Although that scan cannot prove whether a tumor in the prostate is aggressive and potentially life-threatening, what it can do is to prove that there is no chance of you being in immediate danger. So it can eliminate any need to worry or have any further assessments or procedures done.

Recently a new study was published in the Lancet. It proved that the three Tesla multi-parametric MRI is actually twice as accurate in predicting the presence of prostate cancer as a prostate biopsy. It’s taken only four or five years for conventional medicine to produce a study that confirmed my judgment about MRI.

Researchers have shown that an MRI picks up 93% of aggressive cancers, compared with 48% for a biopsy. The biopsy, which removes a sample of tissue for lab testing, often misses the tumor altogether.

Around 100,000 men are sent for a biopsy each year in Britain following blood tests which suggest prostate cancer might be present.

But many will not have an aggressive tumor – or cancer at all – and run the risk of developing sepsis or urinary problems through the unnecessary exploratory surgery.

Some men with no cancer or harmless cancers are sometimes given the wrong diagnosis. They are treated even though this offers no survival benefit, according to Dr. Hashim Ahmed of University College London.

MRI

Biopsies Are No Good

Biopsies are also notoriously poor at detecting aggressive cancer. They miss half of deadly cases and over-diagnose in 25% of cases.

Now, a new study by UCL and the Medical research Council (MRC), has shown around 25,000 men could be spared a biopsy and needless treatment if they were scanned first.

The study involved a trial of 576 men across 11 NHS hospitals. “Prostate cancer has both aggressive and harmless forms,” explains study author Dr. Hashim Ahmed.

“Our current biopsy test can be inaccurate because the tissue samples are taken at random. This means it cannot confirm whether a cancer is aggressive or not and can miss aggressive cancers that are actually there.

“Because of this some men with no cancer or harmless cancers are sometimes given the wrong diagnosis and are then treated even though this offers no survival benefit and can often cause side effects,” said Dr. Hashim Ahmed.

MRI

Why MRI Scans

MRI scans can reveal the size of the tumor, how densely packed the cells are and how well it is connected to the blood stream. All of these indicate how aggressive the cancer is.

In the study, scanning correctly diagnosed almost all of the aggressive cancers (93%). Biopsies, on the other hand, correctly diagnosed only 48%. For men who had a negative MRI scan, 9 out of 10 either had either no cancer or a harmless cancer – an accuracy rate far higher than surgery.

Men whose scans came back negative would instead be monitored by the doctors rather than undergoing surgery.

“We are searching for better ways to diagnose prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK, since PSA alone is an imperfect test,” said Professor Ros Eeles, Professor of Prostate Cancer Genetics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

“This study provides groundbreaking data that the addition of a multi-parametric MRI can be used in the diagnostic pathway after PSA to eliminate the need for many men to even consider a prostate biopsy.

Currently, an MRI prior to prostate biopsy is not the standard of care internationally.

MRI 45% More Successful Than Prostate Biopsy
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  1. eric

    I am 63. My prior PSA was 3.3 on 6/23/2017. I had a severe UTI which cause my PSA to shot up to 25 on 6/6/2018 when I went to the doctor . After the anti-biotic treatment, they did another PSA test on 6/16/2018 and my PSA is down to 4.6. I am schedule to visit the urologist in 7/6/2018. What should I do? Do the MRI and not biopsy? Or wait 6 weeks to do another PSA test and see if it gets down to my old PSA number 3.3?

    • Ben Ong

      Hi Eric, An MRI scan is much safer than a biopsy because it is non-invasive. Therefore taking an MRI test is a good idea. I recommend that you should also make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Cone foods such as avocados, the right kind of butter, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, and almonds, olives, along with omega three fats from small fatty fish like sardines, herring, or mackerel. You should try to avoid animal fat and protein, dairy products, processed foods, carbohydrates and sugar from your diet. More examples of food that are suitable for the ketogenic diet can be found here: http://www.bensprostate.com/ketogenic-good-food-guide/
      High intakes of dairy, red meat and animal fats increase the risk of prostate enlargement. Whereas consuming food which are rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of prostate enlargement. It is important that you choose organic and fresh vegetables otherwise the nutrient quality of the fruits and vegetables will be suboptimal. A lack of high quality fruit and vegetables can lead to lead to deficiencies in micronutrients which are important for prostate health.
      It is very important that you maintain adequate levels of physical activity throughout the whole year very important. Research shows that men who exercise frequently are far less likely to develop BPH or prostate cancer. Physical activity also helps to maintain a healthy body weight, which is very important because excess body weight increases oestrogen and inflammation, which contribute to prostate diseases. Research also shows a correlation between increases in body weight and an increase in prostate size. Furthermore, the effectiveness of supplements is blunted in men with excess body weight, so it is highly important to maintain a healthy body weight.
      You should take our harmless Total Health supplement designed to reduce or eliminate inflammation, enlargement and irritation in the prostate. Our product works synergistically with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Following these stops will help you lower your PSA. Make this change and you should see change in the next 3-6 months. Then you should take PSA test to measure your progress. You can also take our Prostate Health Assessment which will generate a free report providing you information on your prostate health. https://www.bensprostate.com/e/prostate-health-assessment I hope this helps you and I wish you good health, Ben.

  2. Frank Baker

    As far as I know a person who has undergone Open Heart Surgery with a implanted ICD Implanted Cardiac Defibulator cannot undergo a MRI. I had this procedure in 2008 and cannot have a MRI. Hope this answers your question. Frank

  3. Bob DeLambily

    Is it possible for someone who has had open heart surgery and in wired back together to undergo an MRI ?

  4. Lester Mcilwaine

    This article made my day.

    1. It confirmed my suspicion that many medical practitioners try to instill fear and uncertainty into their patients just to make money.
    2. It reinforced my belief in myself!

    2 years ago I had a nasty infection which raised my PSA levels to around 11. After 2 courses of daily intravenous antibiotics (at around $800 a shot) and also oral antibiotics the doc insisted I “must” have a biopsy. I told him if he wanted any more money off me or my insurance company he would have to do what I wanted (an MRI) and not what he “recommended”. He relented and did the MRI. Guess what; no unusual tissue detected!

    Then he had the temerity to again insist that “I must still have a biopsy” and quoted me for a 2 night stay in hospital, a private room, over $2000 for the procedure alone and God knows what else. I walked out of there and never went back.

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