New technology detects prostate cancer

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Michael Lewis, 70, of Ventura and his wife love to cook and entertain. To continue his active lifestyle, he stays on top of his health and gets regular screenings for prostate cancer.

At one of his screenings, his doctor assured him he didn't have cancer, even though he had elevated levels of PSA.

Normally, the higher the PSA levels the more likely a man has cancer. But an elevated PSA doesn't guarantee that someone has cancer.

Lewis decided to get a biopsy to locate a tumor. If doctors find a tumor, men can forgo treatment and keep an eye on what happens.

But ultrasound alone is not fool proof.

"For perhaps the past 30 years, prostate biopsy has been performed in a blind fashion," said Leonard Marks, a doctor at UCLA.

Marks said unlike other solid tumors, an ultrasound can't actually see inside the prostate.

"Our pattern has been to sample the prostate in what we think is a systematic fashion, but we don't aim at tumor," Marks said.

Sometimes a cancer can be missed.

Now doctors are taking aim with a new targeted biopsy that uses a multi-parameter MRI that looks at the anatomy, blood flow and tissue density.

A 3-D image is fused with real-time ultrasound giving doctors a clear view of a suspicious region.

Using this technology, UCLA researchers retested a 113 men who had conventional biopsies. All of them were told they had slow growing tumors, but this test revealed that 36 percent of them actually had aggressive cancers.

Those who don't have a fast-growing tumor get peace of mind.

Lewis took part in UCLA's study. His tumor turned out to be aggressive.

"Fortunately, he found it, which I was delighted, because otherwise I would've walking around in the dark. I could have been dead in six months' time," Lewis said.

Today, he feels like a cat with nine lives and is grateful the new technology for saved his life.

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