The 4 Most Common Imaging Procedures Among Men

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Men, especially men over the age of 50, suffer from different types of diseases than women. It’s important for men to begin regular screening for these diseases, especially if a man has a genetic predisposition for a certain disease or a strong family history of the disease. Below, we look at four of the most common imaging procedures for men and their uses.

Ultrasound-Guided Prostate Biopsy

Ultrasound guided prostate biopsy uses imaging-guidance to collect a small tissue sample of the prostate gland to send to a laboratory. This procedure uses a small needle to take the tissue and identify the presence of prostate cancer.

Your doctor may recommend this procedure if:

  • You measured high for prostate cancer in a blood test

  • Your doctor discovered an abnormality in your prostate during an examination

  • You have a family history of prostate cancer

Urethrogram

A urethrogram examines the urethra using X-ray imaging. A urethrogram is most often used to diagnose causes associated with the narrowing of the urethra that are oftentimes from an innocuous enlargement of the prostate gland or something more serious.

Your doctor may request a urethrogram if you have problems with poor urinary flow that he/she suspects are caused by something other than the usual enlargement of the prostate that is commonly seen in older men. A history of injury, surgery on the prostate, a bladder catheter, or infection in the past can all result in narrowing of the urethra.

MRI of the Prostate

In this procedure, a magnetic resonance imaging—or MRI—scanner employs a very strong magnet to create detailed images of the prostate and surrounding areas.  A contrast agent will be used to highlight any tumor and it’s aggressiveness offering information that no other study can provide.

Your doctor might request an MRI of the prostate gland for the following reasons:

  • To produce more detailed images of the prostate

  • To help show if there is any evidence of cancer in the prostate gland if you have a high or rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level in the blood

  • For a type of radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer

  • To discover if your prostate cancer has returned

MRI of the Heart

Heart disease is the most common disease that men die from. MRIs of the heart can provide detailed information regarding tumors and cardiovascular disease. It allows your Radiologist to better examine the heart’s structures and blood flow to identify any areas that may have blockages or abnormal tissue.

Regular screening and early detection are crucial in helping discover diseases and treat them in their earliest stages, which can make the difference between life and death for many patients. Encourage the men in your life to prioritize their health and regularly undergo any age-appropriate screening procedures this month and every month!