An estimated 161,000 American men will receive a positive diagnosis of prostate cancer in the coming year. While many men diagnosed with the disease will find their condition has been detected early and is likely quite treatable, the prognosis is not always so positive. When there are concerns about more aggressive cancers or if aggressive treatments are being pursued, PET and CT scans designed specifically to assist in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment may offer the insights necessary to provide men with more positive outlooks.
Researchers have been delving into the potential benefits of prostate-specific molecular imaging, using tests such as the PET and CT. So far, they have found that these tests are able to detect cancer more readily than others while also offering a path to potentially improving patient care and outcomes.
One recent study involved the use of a combined PET/CT test to evaluate prostate cancer patients. The study involved more than 400 prostate cancer positive patients. They were all given prostate-specific scans before and after treatment.
The results of the study were rather eye-opening. The pre-treatment scans, researchers found, resulted in changes to planned management in more than half the cases due to the more detailed information doctors received about their patient’s conditions. Other studies have shown that PET/CT scan technology is able to detect prostate cancer that had not been previously found in other tests.
Outside of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the mostly commonly diagnosed form of this disease in American men. While considered highly survivable in many cases, the key to a positive outcome often lies in accurate diagnostics. As research is showing, PET/CT scans may provide the edge doctors and their patients need for better understanding a patient’s individual case.
Men who are concerned about prostate cancer are urged to talk with their healthcare providers. Routine screening can be crucial for detecting this form of cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.