Tesla Tech Helps Detect Prostate CancerCancer Care
You won’t see the 3 Tesla MRI cruising our roadways. Instead, you’ll find it in Lee Health’s imaging and radiology centers, where the ground-breaking imaging technology makes inroads toward easier, safer, and more targeted prostate cancer detections.
“It’s a game-changer,” says Dr. Paul Bretton, a board-certified urologist with Lee Health Urology. “This advanced technology significantly improves the detection of prostate cancer if it’s present.”
Dr. Bretton explains that men with an elevated prostate-specific antigen score (PSA) typically undergo an ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate. If the initial biopsy doesn’t find a tumor, more biopsies will be required to determine whether cancer is causing the elevated PSA.
“Biopsies can be uncomfortable and pose a risk of infection, among other possible side effects,” Dr. Bretton says. “The 3 Tesla MRI helps avoid unnecessary prostate biopsies.”
What’s a 3 Tesla MRI?
A tesla is a unit of measurement. More specifically, a tesla measures the strength of a magnetic field. Stronger magnetic fields produce clearer and more detailed Images, especially of soft tissues and organs than conventional MRI scanners.
The magnets used in 3 Tesla MRI, or 3T MRI, scans produce a 3-tesla magnetic field that’s twice as powerful as the fields used in high-field MRI scanners and 10 to 15 times stronger than an open MRI. All that power allows the 3T MRI to capture images with the tiniest abnormalities, improving the detection of prostate cancers often missed with other imaging technologies.
Also, 3T MRI scans are much faster than traditional MRI scans. 3T MRI screenings may only take 15-20 minutes; a conventional MRI scan can take 30 or more minutes. The speed and power of the tesla technology reduce patients' chances of undergoing a new scan because they moved.
MRI/ultrasound fusion: a new frontier of targeted prostate biopsy
The 3T MRI flashes prodigious power when used as part of an MRI/ultrasound fusion process. This newer technology combines (or fuses) the pictures from a 3T MRI scan and an ultrasound to create a detailed 3-D image of the prostate.
“The process helps us precisely target the area of the prostate that needs to be biopsied,” Dr. Bretton says. “This approach allows us to see the exact area that needs to be sampled and guide the needle to the precise spot.”
An MRI/ultrasound fusion-guided biopsy doesn’t guarantee to find all lesions, but it may find tumors of high risk while eliminating additional procedures for tumors that don’t need immediate treatment.
Studies show that MRI fusion-guided biopsies help target tumors that require treatment, provide better information, and reduce the need for repeat biopsies. “The fewer biopsy samples are taken, the less risk for complications,” Dr. Bretton adds.
Are you a candidate for an MRI/ultrasound fusion biopsy?
You may be eligible for this innovative procedure if you’ve had:
- An elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) score
- An abnormal finding on your digital rectal exam (DRE)
- A history of negative traditional biopsies with continued concern for cancer
For a consultation or to make an appointment with an expert urologist with Lee Physician Group, call 239-343-9000.