Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States find their disease is highly treatable. In some cases, they might even be told no intervention is required at all. There are cases, however, when aggressive forms of the disease threaten a man’s life courtesy of a propensity for the cancerous cells to spread to other parts of the body. In these instances, accurate diagnosis of the more aggressive disease is a must. This is where researchers are finding that one particular form of imaging sets itself apart from others. A PET/CT scan using a specific tracer more readily targets prostate-specific membrane antigen, making it more reliable to image metastatic prostate cancer.
The study in question used a radioactive traders known as F-18-DCFBC. This method, researchers found, was much more effective than all other detection methods in use at present. To arrive at those findings, researchers followed patients who underwent different forms of diagnostic imaging. They found that PET/CT scans using the particular tracer detected a larger number of lesions that other diagnostic methods. The PET/CT scans found 592 positive lesions versus about 520 detected by other methods.
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer among American males. It is estimated that more than 180,000 new cases will be diagnosed in America this year alone. An estimated 26,000 men will die from the disease. While prostate cancer has a relatively high survival rate, better, more accurate diagnostic procedures could improve the numbers even more, researchers say.
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should speak with their healthcare providers about the condition and tests used in their cases. More aggressive forms of the disease are relatively rare, but ruling them out is important. Men are also advised to begin speaking with their doctors about routine prostate cancer screening as they approach their 50s. Early detection of this disease can lead to life-saving treatments.