Prostate MRI Scanning – A More Reliable Way to Detect Cancer Early
Prostate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning is helping to revolutionise the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. This is a significant development as prostate cancer is very treatable when it is caught in the early stages, so having a first-line MRI scan could help to improve outcomes for men with the disease.
New research confirms how much more accurate and reliable prostate MRI is at picking up prostate cancer than PSA testing alone.
PSA testing – which detects levels of the protein prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood – has been the go-to method of diagnosing prostate cancer for many years. However, the test is increasingly being seen as unreliable and has been linked to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of low-risk cancers.
MRI scans have been proven to be far more accurate than PSA screening alone, creating detailed images of the prostate so radiologists can not only identify any abnormality, but also pinpoint its exact size and location for follow-up sampling. MRI scans are already considered the gold standard first line investigation for patients with suspected prostate cancer but they are now recognised as being a reliable way of screening for prostate cancer as well. Berkshire Imaging is proud to offer private prostate MRI scanning for our patients.
The Reimagine study, published in BMJ Oncology in June 2023, demonstrated that MRI scans were a more reliable way of diagnosing prostate cancer than PSA blood tests alone. Researchers invited 303 men, aged between 50 and 75, to undergo MRI scanning and a PSA test.
One in six of the participants (48) had an MRI scan that indicated prostate cancer, despite having a median PSA density. Within that group, 32 participants had lower PSA levels than the current screening benchmark of 3ng/ml, which is considered normal. This means that they would have received a false reassurance that they were cancer-free if they had undergone PSA testing alone and would not have been referred for further investigation.
After NHS assessment, 29 of these men were diagnosed with cancer that required treatment. Fifteen of them had serious cancer, despite having a PSA of less than 3ng/ml.
This study highlights just how much difference MRI screening could make in diagnosing prostate cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable.
Whereas conventional PSA testing detects the presence of the protein prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood, an MRI scan creates detailed images of the prostate. These images are then analysed by a consultant radiologist, who can not only identify any abnormalities but also pinpoint their exact size and location.
Why choose Berkshire Imaging?
We are one of the largest private radiology groups in Berkshire, providing imaging for patients across the county. We also provide interventional radiology procedures for patients in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Bucks and London. We are leaders in medical imaging and image guided treatments. As a result we use cutting edge technologies to diagnose and treat many different and often complex conditions.
When you are concerned about your health, you want a doctor to see and treat you as quickly as possible. With Berkshire Imaging you will receive a prompt and accurate diagnosis. This can help ensure better outcomes if you need treatment or put your mind at ease if you don’t.
Where Are You Based?
We provide imaging for patients right across Berkshire. From Newbury and Thatcham in the West along the M4 corridor to Reading, Bracknell and Wokingham and as far as Maidenhead and Slough, we have helped hundreds of patients in Berkshire. Our strong relationships with all the major private hospitals across Berkshire enable us to offer rapid access to private scans in several locations.
Frequently asked questions – MRI Prostate Cancer Screening
One in eight men is at risk of developing prostate cancer, with men over the age of 50, those with a family history of prostate cancer and men who are black being at highest risk. Currently any man over the age of 50 who is experiencing symptoms can request a PSA test but this form of testing has been linked to over-diagnosis and over-treatment of low risk cancers. MRI scanning is now considered the gold standard for accurate and early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Prostate MRI scans are carried out using Berkshire Imaging’s state-of-the-art mobile MRI scanner, located at the Select Car Leasing Stadium (previously known as the Madejski Stadium) in Reading. The MRI scan itself is a painless procedure, lasting approximately 40 minutes. Our experienced medical team will provide professional and efficient care, ensuring your comfort and dignity throughout the procedure. You should be able to go home immediately afterwards.
Our private MRI screening package is available on a self-pay basis for £850. This includes the MRI scan and a follow-up appointment with a Consultant Urologist.