Prostate cancer affects one in six American men, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in males ages 50 and older. The primary signifier of the possible presence of prostate cancer is an elevated level of a protein produced by the prostate gland called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA. Elevated PSA levels are easily detected through a simple blood test, but, because PSA levels naturally rise with age, what’s considered normal can vary over time. Some men experience sudden increases in PSA protein that, while still within the normal range for their age group, may indicate the onset of prostate disease. To discover changes early, the Board Certified radiologists of RAO and other health agencies recommend that men ages 40 – 70 get a PSA test every two to four years, and that those with elevated or rapidly-rising PSA levels get tested annually so that cancer can be diagnosed before it has a chance to spread to other organs, when it can be difficult or impossible to treat.
Higher-than-normal PSA levels alone don’t indicate cancer – in fact, most of the time PSA levels rise because of other causes, like aging or problems that may still require treatment or monitoring, like infection, abscess, inflammation or prostatic hyperplasia, which is a benign enlargement of the prostate gland. To find out what’s behind rising PSA levels and catch changes in the prostate early, RAO offers a breakthrough in diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate.
Unlike practices that rely on ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) for secondary prostate analyses, RAO prefers the superior imaging capacity of high field MRI technology, which delivers more power than high-performance MRI and many times the power of a standard open MRI, without the exposure to ionizing radiation of CT and the comparatively limited detail of ultrasound. As the leading local provider of MRI prostate imaging, RAO and its team of subspecializing radiologists are capable of discovering even the tiniest changes and anomalies, for earlier discovery of cancer and other problems. High field MRI scanning helps your radiologist and referring clinician establish a diagnosis more rapidly and accurately than ever before.
Remember, when caught in time, prostate cancer is highly treatable and survivable. If you’re 40 or older, talk to your clinician about PSA testing and what levels are right for you. And when secondary testing is required, consider the higher standard in prostate examination, high field MRI from RAO. Nothing else is as safe and accurate in the fight against prostate cancer.