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UroNav Technology Yields Better Prostate Cancer Detection

March 28, 2018


Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in men, with 1 in 9 diagnosed with the disease within their lifetime. While prostate cancer is a serious disease, it is usually a slow-growing cancer, so early detection is paramount to successful treatment outcomes. Now, a new technology that combines MRI and a traditional biopsy makes detecting prostate cancer even more accurate.

What is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate, a gland that is only in males, makes some of the fluid in semen. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Cancer of the prostate occurs when cells in the gland grow abnormally, forming a tumor that can spread to nearby tissue and other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

In its early stages, prostate cancer often presents without symptoms, making it difficult to detect. However, some symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Difficulty starting or stopping urination

  • Painful urination

  • Difficulty maintaining an erection

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Pain or pressure in the rectum

Primary factors that may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer are:

  • Age — Prostate cancer is rare in men under 40, but becomes increasingly more prevalent after age 50.

  • Race/ethnicity — African-American men develop prostate cancer more than other men, but the reason for the disparity is unclear.

  • Geography — Prostate cancer is seen more in North America than some other areas? regions? continents? countries but, as with the race/ethnicity disparity, scientists don’t know why.

  • Family history — Men whose brother(s) or father are diagnosed with prostate cancer have more than double the chance of developing the disease.

Detecting Prostate Cancer

The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a rectal exam, which is done manually, are initial ways doctors check for abnormalities in the prostate. If the levels of PSA are elevated or if the rectal exam indicates abnormalities, your doctor may schedule a prostate biopsy to get a more detailed look at cells in the prostate. While the biopsy is the reliable standard, it can be difficult to visualize the prostate when using an ultrasound alone, as a guide for locating the tumor or lesion. Now, improved multi-parametric MRI imaging can identify the location of prostate cancer within the prostate, if present, before the biopsy.

UroNav is a new software-based technology that allows urologists to fuse MRI and ultrasound images real-time while performing prostate biopsy for suspicion of prostate cancer. Compared to traditional biopsies, UroNav increases the accuracy of finding significant prostate cancer, if it is present.

Not all prostate cancer is equally lethal, so the difficulty in managing the disease typically has been identifying the prostate cancer lesions that would shorten a patient's life while limiting the diagnosis of insignificant lesions. MRI is able to achieve both of these desired outcomes.

With MRI quickly becoming the standard diagnostic tool that allows us to identify these lesions that appear to be significant and ultimately require aggressive therapy, UroNav is the technology that enables us to harness the benefits of MRI's increased diagnostic accuracy.

At Orlando Health, we are deeply invested in utilizing the latest technology to provide the best healthcare available. As a result, Orlando Heath has invested in UroNav technology, further advancing the excellent standard of prostate cancer care offered by Orlando Health Medical Group Urology.


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