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Elderly man

New technology at Gibbs improves prostate cancer detection and treatment

Men, hold on to your hat!

The American Cancer Society states that one in nine American men will have prostate cancer during his lifetime.

In fact, prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer in American men. Risk factors include age, family history, and race. The median age for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 66, and African American men are approximately 70 percent more likely to develop the disease in their lifetime.

However, prostate cancer tends to be a slower growing cancer than most, and if detected early, prognosis can be quite good.  There are a variety of treatment options available at almost every stage of the disease, including what is known as ‘watchful waiting’. For any treatment to be effective, it is important to be as accurate as possible with detection and diagnosis.  This is why Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is using a new 3D imaging navigation system called Artemis, which combines MRI and ultrasound imaging to improve the detection and treatment of prostate cancer.

Traditional prostate cancer biopsies are done using ultrasound imaging to guide clinicians to the prostate. However, since ultrasound images cannot tell normal tissue from cancerous tissue, these biopsies usually consist of a dozen or so tissue samples being taken randomly from the prostate and tested for cancerous cells. An MRI does have the ability to detect suspicious areas, but a biopsy cannot be performed during an MRI because the powerful magnets prevent the use of needles.

Artemis uses advanced 3D imaging technology to take MRI images, and combine them with real-time ultrasound images, to precisely target areas of suspicion within the prostate. The ability to use both technologies allows physicians to see what could not be seen before, and provides more information about the exact location and extent of the disease.

The result can lead to a more accurate diagnosis along with better information to help make a smarter, more individualized choice about prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow up.

A study in the latest edition of The New England Journal of Medicine found that MRI-targeted prostate biopsies like Artemis can reduce both over- treatment and under-treatment of prostate cancer.

"The Artemis MRI-targeted biopsy system has the potential to more accurately and thoroughly detect advanced prostate cancers, and limit the unnecessary treatment of low-grade prostate cancers. Thus, improving the confidence of the physician involved with that patient's care that the patient is receiving the most appropriate treatment for their disease," said urologist, Dr. Robert Strehlow.

Gibbs is one of only three health systems in South Carolina that offer Artemis MRI-targeted prostate biopsies. As always, our goal at Gibbs is to ensure the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for our patients. This initiative further exemplifies Gibbs's devotion and commitment to our patients, their care, and their treatment outcomes.

If interested in more information about Artemis, please talk to your doctor or contact 1-855-DNA-GIBBS.