Nobody wants a prostate biopsy. It hurts. There is a risk of infection. And let’s be honest, it’s just unpleasant. On the other hand, there is no other way for a urologist to be able to tell not only if someone has prostate cancer, but more importantly, if it is clinically significant.
At least until now.
A new study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated the use of a prostatic MRI before prostate biopsy in patients with an elevated PSA who had not previously undergone a prostate biopsy. Their conclusion? A 12% increase in the ability to diagnose clinically significant prostate cancer.
While this is wonderful news for patients, from clinical experience, I can say that I have been trying to use MRI’s in the settings for years and the insurance companies simply won’t pay for it. Let’s hope that with this new published data, my ability to have insurance companies pay for an MRI before a prostate biopsy will become easier.