Prostate cancer screening is a crucial aspect of men’s health, particularly for those at higher risk, including men over the age of 50, men with a family history of prostate cancer, and black men. Traditionally, the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test has been a primary tool for detecting prostate cancer. However, advancements in medical imaging have brought bi – parametric Prostate MRI into the spotlight as a superior alternative for several reasons.

Prostate Cancer Consultation

Why a Bi-parametric Prostate MRI is a good choice

Bi-parametric Prostate MRI is a non-invasive imaging test that uses two types of image sequences: T2-weighted images and diffusion-weighted images. This approach allows for the detailed visualisation of the prostate and the detection of abnormalities without the use of intravenous contrast dye, making it quicker and safer for patients.

  1. Higher Specificity for Cancer Detection: Bi-parametric MRI is more specific for detecting significant prostate cancers than the PSA test alone. This means it can better differentiate between cancerous and benign conditions, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary biopsies.
  2. Improved Risk Stratification: By providing detailed images of the prostate, bi-parametric MRI can help doctors assess the possible size and extent of a tumour, aiding in the risk stratification of the disease. This is crucial for choosing the most appropriate treatment options.
  3. Lower Cost and Faster: Without the need for contrast dye, bi-parametric MRI is less expensive and faster to perform than multi-parametric MRI, making it more accessible for routine screening.
Bi-Paramatric MRI Analysis

Bi-parametric vs. Multi-parametric MRI

While both types of MRI can be used to detect prostate cancer, there are key differences:

  1. Bi-parametric MRI includes T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging. It’s faster, less expensive, and doesn’t require contrast dye, focusing on the anatomy and diffusion within the prostate. We recommend a bi-parametric scan when a PSA test is within a normal range.
  2. Multi-parametric MRI adds dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging to the sequences used in bi-parametric MRI. Although it can provide additional information by evaluating blood flow to the tumour, it’s more costly, takes longer, and involves the use of contrast dye, which might not be suitable for all patients. We recommend a multi-parametric MRI scan when your PSA test is out of the expected range.

If you’d had a normal PSA test recently but would like the extra peace of mind that the bi-parmatric MRI brings, speak to your doctor who will make the necessary arrangements.