Diagnostic Tests for Staging

CT Scan

Computed Tomographic scan (CT scan) is an x-ray procedure that gives cross-sectional images of the body. The CT scan may help detect lymph nodes in the pelvis that are enlarged because of cancer. Generally, a CT scan is done only if the cancer is high risk (high PSA, high Gleason score, or abnormal findings on DRE).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is similar to a CT scan except that it uses magnetic fields instead of x-rays to create internal pictures of your body. MRI is better than CT at imaging the prostate, but has limited usefulness for distinguishing benign from cancerous areas. Standard MRI, therefore, has limited usefulness for determining the extent of disease. Research is being carried out to determine whether MRI techniques can “see” cancer better. Currently, there is no established role for MRI in prostate cancer.

Bone Scan

A test called a Bone Scan is performed to see if the cancer cells have spread to the skeleton. For this test, a radiology technician injects a small amount of radioactive material into the patient's bloodstream and the patient returns 3 hours later for the scan. The radioactive material collects in the area where there are bone-activating cells. A scanner then pinpoints the areas where the radioactive material collects, so these areas can be evaluated for possible sites of bone metastasis. This study is limited to those with high-risk disease (high PSA, high Gleason score, or abnormal findings on DRE).

Lymph Node Dissection

The lymph nodes are often the first location where prostate cancer spreads. The physician can usually estimate the likelihood that cancer has spread to the lymph nodes based on the rectal examination, PSA, and biopsy results; and by using a published nomogram. If there is a high likelihood that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, the physician may elect to surgically sample, remove and examine the lymph nodes under a microscope. This is often done at the time of radical prostatectomy in intermediate and high-risk cases. Special imaging techniques are being developed to study lymph nodes without having to surgically remove them.

A World Class Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

Events

Movember Foundation 2018

Movember 2018

The Movember Foundation's fundraiser runs from November 1 to 30.  Click here to donate to The Vancouver Prostate Centre team as we join teams across Canada to raise funds for men's health research in the areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

Employment

Work at the Vancouver Prostate Centre

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

An innovative new study advances personalized medicine for prostate cancer patients

Drs Chi and Wyatt
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Three researchers receive Prostate Cancer Canada & Movember Foundation grants for biomarker development