Today, I am delighted to welcome Dr. E. David Crawford, Chairman of the Prostate Conditions Education Council, with a guest post on how a new 3-D imaging procedure is helping patients choose the right prostate cancer treatment option.
New 3-D Image Helps Improve Prostate Cancer Treatment Decision Making
by Dr. E. David Crawford
Guy H., a real estate agent and steer roping enthusiast from Texas, had Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS) guided needle biopsies to determine if he had prostate cancer. Unfortunately results of the TRUS showed that he did, but the needle samples taken only provide estimates on the tumor’s grade and extent, which is used to classify abnormal cancer cells and how quickly they are likely to grow and spread.
Like many patients, Guy was concerned about choosing a treatment method that was too conservative, risking the future spread of cancer. Yet choosing a method that was too aggressive might have put his health at risk due to possible over-treatment. It is a common problem for men diagnosed with prostate cancer and a fine line that patients and doctors walk as they compare watchful waiting to more invasive options, like radiation or prostatectomy.
Because of the risks associated with radiation or prostatectomy, such as urinary incontinence, impotence and other quality of life issues, Guy wanted to access all of his options. Fortunately new technology is providing higher-quality images of the prostate, helping to improve prostate cancer treatment decisions.
Guy visited the University of Colorado where I was conducting research into a technology that can provide men with a more accurate picture of their prostate cancer diagnosis – the Transperineal 3-D Mapping Biopsy.