New tech helping improve early detection of prostate cancer

New technology is helping improve early detection of prostate cancer – the most common cancer among South African men, with one in 19 at risk at developing it in their lifetime.

According to the Cancer Association of SA (CANSA), prostate cancer is on the rise with main risk factors being age, ethnicity, genetics, obesity and poor diet. The prostate is a small gland within the reproductive system — located just below the bladder — which secretes fluid to nourish sperm.

Prostate cancer may be effectively treated — particularly if detected early through regular consented screening by men over 45 — according to The Urology Hospital, Pretoria.

And, research shows that new technology in the form of a fusion guided biopsy, which combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with ultrasound, is improving detection, allowing earlier intervention. The technology fuses detailed MRI scans with live, real-time ultrasound images, providing a better indication of the location of potential tumours.

Urologist, Dr Laurie Blake, says “educated risk-adapted screening” (consented screening) is vital, particularly if there is a family history of prostate cancer or if men experience difficulty urinating, a constant full bladder or an urgency to pass water frequently. He said The Urology Hospital offered all major screening procedures, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, rectal examinations and blood tests.

“Should a screen raise suspicions, it could be followed by a fusion guided biopsy to detect the location and stage of the cancer. Once the cancer is confirmed there are a various treatment options,” added Blake.

The most common is a prostatectomy (removal of part or all of the prostate) through minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or robotic surgery – both state-of-the-art procedures.

The Urology Hospital is the only specialist institution of its kind in Africa, offering the latest technology combined with the expertise of 23 urologists under one roof. It was the first hospital in SA to acquire a robotic surgical system and has one of only a few 3D laparoscopic surgical units in the country.

Blake urged men over 45 who were concerned about their prostate health to contact The Urology Hospital,  to find out more.

For more information, contact 012 423-4000 or SMS the word INFO and your email address to 33000 (SMS charged at R1.50).

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