Misdiagnosed prostate cancer means half of cases may be missed


Each year around 40,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 10,000 die from the disease. However, a recent study has found that current techniques used by most NHS hospitals could lead to misdiagnosed prostate cancer, putting thousands at risk.


The study by Professor Mark Emberton, Professor of Interventional Oncology at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), has found that 1 in 20 men undergoing the traditional biopsy were misdiagnosed and found to have significant disease levels.

But, undergoing an MRI scan first followed by an ultrasound scan provides a far more accurate diagnosis. Not only would this detect far more cases, but it would lead to less false positives and a wrong diagnosis.

Whilst this treatment would be far more costly, it would prevent unnecessary invasive procedures and could immediately and reliably give the all-clear to men without the disease.

Professor Emberton, has said that hospitals need to update their practice. UCLH have been using MRI, followed by a guided biopsy for several years, but Professor Emberton remarked: "There are only a handful of hospitals in this country which currently do this, and that needs to change."

Dr Kate Holmes, Head of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "This early data suggests that giving men an MRI scan before a biopsy may put clinicians in a better position to tailor investigations and treatments further down the line.

"However, further research is necessary before we will know the true value of this method."

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