The one thing that everyone remembers and fears is being asked to undergo an MRI, which is a procedure used to detect cancer. However, new research has discovered that an ultrasound scan can also be used to detect cancer. The study discovered that ultrasound tests can be used to detect prostate cancer.
The study’s findings were published in the journal Lancet Oncology.’ In a clinical trial involving 370 men, researchers from Imperial College London, University College London, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust discovered that a new type of ultrasound scan can accurately diagnose most prostate cancer cases. When compared to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, ultrasound scans missed only 4.3 percent more clinically important prostate cancer cases – cancer that should be treated rather than monitored. MRI scans are both costly and time-consuming.
The researchers believed that an ultrasound scan should be used as a first test in a community healthcare setting, as well as in low and middle-income countries where high-quality MRI scans are difficult to obtain. According to the researchers, it could be used in conjunction with current MRI scans to improve cancer detection. Professor Hashim Ahmed, the study’s lead author and Chair of Urology at Imperial College London, stated, “Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United Kingdom. One in every six men will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives, and that number is expected to rise.” “One of the tests we use to diagnose prostate cancer is an MRI scan.
Although effective, these scans are costly, can take up to 40 minutes to complete, and are not widely available. Furthermore, some patients, such as those with hip replacements or claustrophobia, are unable to undergo MRI scans. As cancer waiting lists grow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing need to develop more efficient and cost-effective tests for diagnosing prostate cancer “He continued. “Our research is the first to demonstrate that a specific type of ultrasound scan can be used as a potential test for detecting clinically significant cases of prostate cancer. Although MRI scans are slightly better, they can detect most cases of prostate cancer with high accuracy “He stated.
“We believe that this test can be used in low and middle-income settings where access to expensive MRI equipment is difficult and prostate cancer cases are increasing,” he said. With approximately 52,300 new cases diagnosed each year, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It occurs when cells in the prostate grow uncontrollably. Prostate cancer progresses slowly, and symptoms such as blood in the urine do not appear until the disease has progressed. Men over the age of 50 are more likely to be affected, as are men with a family history of the disease.
Black men are disproportionately affected by the disease, and prostate cancer deaths have now surpassed those from breast cancer. A special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan called a multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) scan, which helps doctors see if there is any cancer inside the prostate and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow, is one of the main methods for diagnosing prostate cancer. However, the scan takes 40 minutes and costs between £350 and £450.
The new study investigated the use of a different type of imaging known as multi-parametric ultrasound (mpUSS), which uses sound waves to examine the prostate. The images of the prostate were created using a probe called a transducer during the test. It is inserted into the rectum and emits sound waves that reverberate off organs and other structures.
These are then used to create images of the organs. The doctor who performed the test also used ultrasonic imaging that looked at how stiff the tissue was and how much blood supply it had. These techniques are known as elastography, doppler, and contrast-enhancement with microbubbles. Cancers appear more clearly as they become denser and have a greater blood supply. Although mpUSS is more widely available than mpMRI, no large-scale studies have been conducted to validate its effectiveness as a test for detecting prostate cancer cases.
The team recruited 370 men at risk of prostate cancer for the new trial, called cancer diagnosis by multiparametric ultrasound of the prostate (CADMUS). They were discovered after initial tests such as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a blood test used to detect prostate cancer, and/or an abnormal digital rectal examination, which examines a person’s lower rectum, pelvis, and lower belly. Between March 2016 and November 2019, the study was conducted at seven hospitals in the United Kingdom, including the lead site Charing Cross Hospital, which is part of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. At separate visits, the men received both mpUSS and mpMRI scans.