A transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided prostate biopsy is the gold standard for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This is generally indicated for patients with an elevated Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) or an abnormal rectal exam. It is performed in an office-based setting using local anesthesia. While the ultrasound is good at imaging the overall prostate anatomy, it is not very good at detecting cancerous lesions. Therefore, biopsies are traditionally performed using a mapping technique to sample certain areas of the prostate where we know cancer tends to form but can not target specifically concerning areas.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide amazing anatomical detail for certain organs including the prostate. It is being utilized more and more to help identify aggressive prostate cancer within the prostate both prior to biopsy as well as prior to treatment. While real time/live MRI cannot be performed during a biopsy; the MRI images can be “fused” onto live ultrasound images. This is referred to as a MRI/Ultrasound Fusion Guided Biopsy. This allows the physician to target suspicious areas of the prostate to biopsy increasing our ability to find clinically significant cancer if it is present.
If you or a loved one are considering a prostate biopsy, ask your Urologist if a MRI/Ultrasound Fusion Guided Biopsy may be a good option for you.