This September, many of us will be sporting the light blue ribbons that signify Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. For the millions of people affected by this disease, this is an important opportunity to increase awareness and give thanks to all the dedicated healthcare professionals around the world.
“Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to remind everyone - your friends, family, and the general public that most prostate cancers can be caught early with screening, which can save countless lives. Prostate cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in men, and we need to get the word out and remind our loved ones to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer screening.”
— Dr. Zeyad Schwen MD, Hillcrest Hospital, OH, USA
With prostate cancer the second most common cancer in men, and fourth most common overall, raising awareness of prostate cancer and improving the standard of care for patients are key goals for the urology community.
BK Medical has a long history in the urology space, providing the active imaging technology used in prostate biopsy and treatment. We know how important it is to have the right tools for effective diagnosis and treatment regimens, and we share physicians’ commitment to creating the best possible outcomes for patients.
“The arrival of prostate specific antigen (PSA) and ultrasound (US) into clinical practice in the 1980s and the evolution of multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) in the early 21st Century have driven the surgical art of PBx into a more scientific-based procedure.”— Urology News - History of prostate biopsy – part 1
Campaigns by healthcare providers and non-profit organizations, like the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the US, and Europa Uomo in the EU, have helped to increase public awareness and understanding of prostate cancer. We can all play a part in this, by sharing information among our families, friends and professional networks. Knowledge is power!
The Prostate Cancer Foundation has lots of helpful information for the general public on the risk factors, screening, genetic testing and prevention. In addition they have a series of free guides, including Things Every Man Should Know About Prostate Cancer, and Additional Facts for Black Men and Their Families.
The current recommendations for screening vary around the world. The American Urological Association (AUA) recommends shared decision making with patients for whom screening would be appropriate and then proceeding according to their preference. They also recommend clinicians should offer regular prostate cancer screening every 2 to 4 years to people aged 50 to 69 years.
In the European Union, there are initiatives like PRAISE-U, which aims to “reduce morbidity and mortality caused by prostate cancer in EU Member States through smart early detection.”
In direct partnership with a network of consortium members, PRAISE-U is working to encourage early detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer through customized and risk-based screening programmes.
“Prostate Cancer Awareness Month provides a great opportunity to focus energy on education efforts regarding the importance of prostate cancer risk factors, screening, and early detection. If we expand public awareness about early diagnosis and management options, we can further improve the likelihood of successful prostate cancer treatments and cure.”
— Dr. Soroush Rais-Bahrami, MD, MBA, FACS
The increasing use of MRI data and the fusion of MRI and ultrasound images to guide biopsies has contributed to better detection rates for clinically significant cancers.
Transperineal biopsies are also on the rise, with advantages that include shorter procedures and a significant reduction in infectious complications, making it the biopsy modality recommended by the European Association of Urology (EAU).
With effective diagnostic tools and techniques, urologists are empowered to choose the best possible course of action for each patient.
With an arsenal that includes sophisticated ablative and radiation therapies, hormone treatments, and new drug combinations, modern medicine is increasingly able to offer patients improved quality of life and greater longevity.
Healthcare providers and urologists seek the best possible standard of care for cancer patients, across the care continuum. The evolution of medical imaging technology will continue to play a key role in supporting that goal, providing increasingly detailed and precise visual guidance. Combined with intelligent screening programmes, greater awareness, and the latest cutting-edge treatment options, there is certainly cause for optimism.