Until recently, prostate cancer was difficult to image and detect. MRI has emerged as the imaging technique of choice for detecting prostate cancer. It provides important information for determining the best possible treatment options. MRI images of soft tissue and organs (such as the prostate) are clearer and more detailed than other imaging methods. MRI enables early diagnosis of prostate cancer and accurately evaluates how far the cancer may have spread.
MRI can determine if the cancer is entirely inside the prostate gland or has spread to nearby or distant organs. For men with an intermediate or high probability of cancer spread outside the prostate, MRI improves the accuracy of information. This allows your doctor to determine a more appropriate treatment plan. MRI also provides important information to surgeons.
The Significance of Prostate Health
The prostate, a walnut-sized gland within the male reproductive system, plays a crucial role in bodily functions. Situated just below the bladder and encircling the urethra, it produces prostatic fluid, an essential component of semen.
Hormonal Influence and Age-Related Changes:
Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone influence the prostate’s growth and function. As men age, the prostate may undergo alterations, potentially leading to conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer. Regular medical check-ups and screenings are vital, especially for older men, to monitor prostate health.
Identifying Prostate Disorders:
Prostate disorders often manifest through various symptoms, including urinary problems like poor stream, urine retention, urinary incontinence, increased frequency of urination, as well as pelvic, genital, or lower back pain, blood in urine or semen, and erectile dysfunction.
According to the Australian Government, In 2022, prostate cancer accounted for 27% of all new male cancer diagnoses in Australia, with approximately 24,217 cases. Additionally, prostate cancer caused 13% of male cancer-related deaths, totalling 35,073 fatalities. However, there is reason for optimism, as statistics reveal a 96% chance of survival for at least five years among males diagnosed with prostate cancer from 2013-2017
Understanding Risk Factors:
While the exact cause of prostate cancer remains elusive, several risk factors have been identified. Advanced age is a significant risk factor, with the chances of developing prostate cancer increasing significantly after the age of 50. Family history, race and ethnicity, genetic factors, geographic location, obesity, diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and chronic inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) are among the other risk factors.
Other factors can include:
- Race and ethnicity
- Genetic factors
- Geographic location
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Chronic inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis)