‘Life-saving’ scans could spot thousands of prostate cancer cases missed by blood tests

According to a study, MRI scans could reveal thousands of prostate cancer cases missed by blood tests.

Tens of thousands of men are screened for cancer each year, and with 52,000 cases a year, it is the most common cancer in men.

Medical professionals could use scanners instead of blood tests to increase diagnosis rates


Medical professionals could use scanners instead of blood tests to increase diagnosis ratesPhoto credit: PA

Standard tests include a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a manual exam.

Scientists at University College London say many more cases could be detected early with simple MRI scans.

Their study found 29 cases of cancer in 303 men, 25 of which were detected by MRI, compared to just four by the PSA test alone.

Study author Professor Caroline Moore said: “More than half of the men with clinically significant cancer would have been convinced by a PSA test alone that this was not the case.”

“It’s a sobering thought and underscores the need to think about a new approach.”

Experts added in the journal BMJ Oncology that the “overdiagnosis” rate is low.

There is no screening for prostate cancer because tests can detect “insignificant” small or slow-growing tumors that would be more harmful to treat than leave alone.

Many men live with prostate cancer for years without it affecting their lives – 78 percent survive more than a decade after diagnosis.

Simon Grieveson of Prostate Cancer UK said: “MRI scans have revolutionized the way we diagnose prostate cancer.

“These results are extremely exciting, and we now want to see much larger studies to understand whether using MRI could form the basis of a national screening program.”

“We urgently need screening to catch more cancers early and save the lives of thousands of men every year.”

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chairman of the UK’s National Screening Committee, which advises the government, said the study was “read with interest”.

He said: “The committee does not recommend prostate cancer screening at this time because there is no clear evidence that the benefits outweigh the harms.”

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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