Imagine a medical procedure that hasn’t changed much in nearly 30 years—even though it’s linked to one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in American men, with about a million such procedures conducted each year in the U.S.
If you said “prostate biopsy,” you’d be right.
Prostate biopsies are still generally performed as random, 12-point searches with an ultrasound probe and a simple, spring-loaded needle gun. Samples collected by the needle (typically 12 to 14 “core” samples) are then sent to pathology for analysis, where it can take several days or longer to get the results.
While this random, blind, decidedly low-tech procedure has no doubt saved lives over the years, it increasingly leaves much to be desired.
Less than 10% of the 12 million core samples taken annually in the U.S. come back positive for cancer. What’s more, these prostate biopsies miss about 20% to 30% of cancerous tumors. This is unfortunate because some prostate cancers are aggressive, killing 26,000 men on average in the U.S. each year, making it the second most deadly cancer in men, after lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
It’s time for a new approach, one that uses targeted technology to help you and your doctor know more and know it sooner and guide your care team to optimum therapy.