With 50,000 new cases each year, the prostate is the organ most commonly affected by malignant tumours among men. The causes, as with many other forms of cancer, are largely unknown. Genetic factors, high-fat diets, environmental factors, as well as hormonal influences are often assumed to be risk factors.
For many men, a visit to the urologist is an obstacle to overcome, as it is associated with getting undressed and palpation. In MRI diagnostics, palpation is not required. The man simply lies in the MRI device and the pictures it takes provide us with all the important information about the prostate and its neighbouring organs.
The screening of the prostate gains in importance as patients get older (often as early as 40 years of age).
Palpation of the prostate is recommended from the age of 50.
At the same time the urologist also determines the so-called PSA level (prostate-specific antigen). If this is elevated over 4.0 ng/ml, a tumour is suspected. In these cases a tissue sample should be taken from the prostate (biopsy).
The reason for this: 30 per cent of men over 50 and up to 70 percent of over 80-year-olds have an asymptomatic prostate carcinoma – often hidden between benign lumps.
Unfortunately, palpation is not very reliable, small tumours in particular are very difficult to detect. Also the – previously conventional – transrectal ultrasonography only has limited validity.
An MRI examination provides a more reliable diagnosis.
Prostate screening in MRI diagnostics does not require palpation. You can simply lie down and allow yourself to be examined in the magnetic resonance imaging scanner and receive high-resolution images.