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Published on August 18, 2017

Prostate Cancer: The Basics

Prostate CancerThere will be an estimated 160,000 new diagnoses of prostate cancer in the United States in 2017, which will lead to an estimated 30,000 deaths. Studies have shown that African American men are more likely to be develop prostate cancer, and their mortality rate is twice as high as other men.

Treatment of prostate cancer can be complex, and it’s important to discuss your options with an expert. Look for a treatment center that offers a multidisciplinary approach, where a team of specialists work with you to determine the best course of treatment.

Dr. Firas Shadad, an oncologist and hematologist at the Cone Health Cancer Center, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about the prevalence of prostate cancer and where to look for treatment.

MRI fusion biopsy

In the last few weeks, Cone Health has adopted a new method of biopsy that allows specialists to target the exact area they need to examine. The prostate is one of the few areas of the body in which abnormal tissue can’t be seen with traditional imaging technology which is normally used to guide a biopsy, such as ultrasound. The new MRI Fusion Biopsy allows specialists to target the abnormal tissue and reduce the need for repeat biopsies, which are sometimes necessary in order to be certain of a cancer diagnosis.

Until recently, providers couldn’t be sure exactly where the possibly cancerous tissue was, so they would biopsy many different areas of the prostate. Now, with MRI fusion biopsy, specialists use an MRI image that is fused with a live, real-time ultrasound to guide them as they biopsy the correct tissue needed for testing.

Currently, the MRI fusion biopsy is conducted after an individual receives a biopsy that is negative but has an increasingly elevated PSA level. The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test measures the blood level of PSA, a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. The higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer. Our community is fortunate as Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers, urologists and oncology-related medical professionals dedicated to delivering the best quality care to patients with prostate cancer.

Dr. Benjamin Herrick, a urologist with Alliance Urology in Greensboro, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about the new MRI fusion biopsy available at Cone Health.

Community Support

As part of its dedication to raising cancer awareness throughout the community, Cone Health offers free prostate cancer screenings every year in the fall. To qualify, men must be between the ages of 45 to 69 and have not had a prostate exam in the last twelve months. Each screening participant will receive a PSA blood test, and results will be given by letter or a phone call within four to six weeks. Screenings are offered in Greensboro, Reidsville, High Point, Kernersville, Mebane, Madison, Stoney Creek, Brown Summit and Alamance County.

For men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, whether they have had treatment or not, Cone Health offers a Prostate Cancer Support Group. The support group seeks to provide a time for members to meet and talk about their experience with their diagnosis and treatment. This group lends emotional support in dealing with choosing a treatment method, the physical impact of their treatment choice and the possible impact on their personal relationships.

To learn more about classes and screenings, click here.

Christine Brannock, oncology outreach manager at Cone Health Cancer Center, and Robin Bass, nurse navigator for the prostate cancer multidisciplinary clinic at the Cone Health, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about local prostate cancer support services.