Diagnosing prostate cancer might require a biopsy — taking a tissue sample from your prostate gland. Bellingham Urology Group in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Washington, use ExactVu™ prostate ultrasound for exceptional biopsy imaging guidance. ExactVu enables your provider to identify abnormal prostate tissue and remove a sample for lab analysis. The ExactVu also allows prostate mapping with an MRI to perform precise, targeted biopsies (MRI Fusion Prostate Biopsy). Call Bellingham Urology Group today to learn more, or use the online booking tool to arrange a consultation.
ExactVu is a specialized form of ultrasound, an imaging procedure used to diagnose and treat numerous medical conditions. Ultrasound technology creates high-frequency sound waves and directs them into targeted tissues in your body.
The sound waves bounce off your tissues and relay the information to the ultrasound machine’s software, which produces images of the target organs or soft tissues.
The ExactVu micro-ultrasound platform has both conventional transducers and high-resolution 29 MHz biopsy transducers, offering a practical way for Bellingham Urology Group’s urologists to perform targeted prostate biopsies (removing a tissue sample for lab analysis).
Your urologist might recommend ExactVu prostate ultrasound if they think you could have prostate cancer. The prostate gland makes seminal fluid that mixes with sperm when you ejaculate. It sits just below your bladder, in front of your rectum, and surrounding your urethra (the tube carrying urine and semen through your penis and out of your body).
Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the leading form of cancer in American men and the second most common cause of cancer death in men. Virtually all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, meaning they originate in the cells that produce and release fluids like mucus.
Most of these tumors are very slow growing, but some are aggressive and spread more quickly. Prostate cancer often causes no symptoms at first. Later symptoms like urinary frequency and urgency are similar to those of noncancerous conditions, most commonly an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
As it’s difficult to make a positive diagnosis based on symptoms alone, your urologist does a physical exam and may perform a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test. If you have signs of prostate cancer, they use ExactVu to locate the tumor and perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
The ExactVu prostate ultrasound procedure is straightforward. Your urologist uses the system’s PRI-MUS™ (prostate risk identification using micro-ultrasound) protocol to identify potentially cancerous tissue. Then they remove a small sample using a needle. Other imaging tests, such as an MRI, and be fused to the ExactVu images to provide state-of-the-art real-time targeting of concerning lesions, in a technique known as MRI Fusion Prostate Biopsy.
You might feel pressure and slight discomfort each time the needle extracts a sample. After the procedure, you can go home but must take it easy for a few days. Your urologist will contact you with the biopsy results and discuss any treatment recommendations.
Call Bellingham Urology Group today to learn more about ExactVu prostate ultrasound or book an appointment online.