Patients & Visitors

Urology

D11

Imaging techniques:

In patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer it may be necessary to perform further investigations prior to treatment. Patients with low risk prostate cancer often don't need any imaging tests before treatment.

Bone scan

A bone scan requires intravenous administration of a mildly radioactive substance that is taken up by inflamed or cancerous areas within the skeleton. It involves a very low dose of radiation (less than a CT scan).

A bone scan is often done prior to commencing treatment for prostate cancer in order to ensure the disease hasn't spread to the bones.

CT scan

This is an alternative to MRI scanning in prostate cancer. It uses X-rays and a powerful computer to generate detailed images of the body. It gives similar information to the MRI described above but involves a dose of radiation.

MRI scan

An MRI scan uses the response of the body's tissues to a strong magnetic field to form detailed images.

It is very useful in prostate cancer because it can show whether the cancer has spread beyond the edge of the prostate or whether there are any enlarged lymph nodes or bone lesions which may indicate spread of the disease.

Some patients can't have an MRI because of the magnetic field involved (patients with pacemakers, metal cardiac valves, intracranial aneurysmal clips, retained foreign bodies e.g. intraocular metal fragments as well as some with metallic joint replacements).

Some also have problems with claustrophobia because it involves lying inside a tube and is rather noisy!

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