Our range of diagnostic and treatment services for Prostate Cancer

Each year 3,500 New Zealand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 650 will die from the disease.

Mercy Radiology has a long-standing relationship with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand, having partnered on significant research projects to educate and find better diagnosis and treatment options for Prostate Cancer.

Mercy Radiology offers a full range of diagnostic imaging and treatment services for Prostate Cancer.

By combining the best of technology with the best of our human teams, our bionic approach to diagnosing and treatment of Prostate Cancer ensures patients receive the best possible care.

Role of Radiologist in Prostate Gland Imaging

 MRI for prostate imaging: Who is it for?

Diagnosis of prostate cancer has come a long way since the days of the standard ‘finger test.’

If you have an elevated PSA or a strong family history of prostate cancer, you may choose to have an MRI scan instead of your prostate gland - something that you can discuss with your doctor. 

MRI has very favourable diagnostic accuracy in prostate cancer detection.  An MRI can show us if there are any concerning lesions in your prostate.  Lesions are an area of abnormal tissue. 

If we find any concerning lesions, we can then help your surgeon to target that lesion and accurately diagnose your disease.

MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create a detailed picture of your prostate and the surrounding tissues.  

It is a non-invasive test commonly used to diagnose a range of medical conditions.  A prostate MRI will take around 30-45 min max including prep time.

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Diagnosed with prostate cancer? What’s next?

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your specialist will require an accurate diagnosis as to the extent of the disease to ensure the best treatment option.

As your prostate imaging experts, Mercy Radiology provides a prostate cancer specific scan called PSMA PET-CT.

This scan involves being injected with a small radioactive molecule that is attracted to prostate cancer cells and then being scanned under a PET-CT.

It may sound scary, but this is a very safe procedure with no side effects. 

By combining a PSMA with a PET-CT scan, our expert radiologists receive a clear image and can identify where the prostate cancer may be located and whether it has spread outside the prostate gland.

It is able to accurately detect the presence of hard-to-find prostate cancer cells and those that may be outside of the prostate gland, such as lymph nodes, solid organs or bones. 

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Lutetium Therapy: Palliative treatment for people with advanced prostate cancer

For patients with advanced prostate cancer, your oncologist may refer you for Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy.

This innovative treatment option is most suitable for patients with advanced prostate cancer who have failed other forms of treatment such as hormone therapy or chemotherapy.

Before commencing treatment, patients will undergo a PSMA PET-CT scan to locate the PSMA receptors on the cancer cells.  PSMA (Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen) is a cell membrane protein with enzymatic activity that is highly expressed in prostate cancer cell but not on normal prostate tissue or benign lesions.

Lutetium is a low-level radiation substance that destroys nearby cells. We combine this with a PSMA protein that specifically seeks out and targets PSMA receptors.

It is injected into the bloodstream which takes around 30 minutes every 6-8 weeks. Most patients require four treatment cycles.

Over time, it will destroy prostate cancer cells, including those that have spread into other parts of the body. 

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What are the benefits of undergoing Lutetium Therapy?

Lutetium therapy allows patients with advanced prostate cancer to maintain a good quality of life with minimal side effects.

Lutetium locks onto the cancerous cells and kills them without taking the healthy cells with it.

Approximately 60-70% of patients who have the treatment will experience a positive response (alleviation of symptoms for example) and in some patients, it may produce a relatively long-term remission of disease.

Mercy Radiology is the only provider of Lutetium-177 PSMA in New Zealand.

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Prostate Cancer Awareness

Each year, nearly 3,500 New Zealand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Remember, early detection saves lives.

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PSMA PET-CT: An accurate way to detect extent of Prostate Cancer

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, our PSMA PET/CT scan can detect any cancer that has spread outside of the prostate gland, with greater accuracy than traditional imaging such as bone scan or CT scan.  

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What are the most common prostate symptoms?

Some potential warning signs are trouble in urination. One or more symptoms may include:

  • difficulty starting or stopping urination
  • feeling the need for urination, even though nothing comes out
  • A painful or burning sensation during urination
  • the stream of urination is weak
  • blood in urine

More information regarding prostate cancer management can be found on the Prostate Foundation website here.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed and treated?

If you have an elevated PSA or a strong family history of prostate cancer you can choose to have a MRI scan of your prostate. An MRI scan can detect a concerning lesion. 

If you do get diagnosed with prostate cancer, another form of scan called PSMA PET-CT scan which aims to make sure that the cancer hasn't spread outside of the prostate gland. 

For patients with advanced prostate cancer, a form of palliative treatment called Lutetium PSMA – made available in New Zealand by Mercy Radiology. 

This treatment is safely administered at our facility There are several pathways to treating prostate cancer. To help with making decisions about treatment, patients can be placed into high, intermediate or low risk groups with respect to likely cancer outcome. This is done using a combination of factors and the treatment plan is designed by multi-disciplinary team of specialists and radiologists with the goal of ensuring the best outcome for the patient.

More information regarding prostate cancer management can be found on the Prostate Foundation website here.

How to prevent prostate cancer?

There is no absolute prostate cancer prevention. But diet and making healthy choices may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Another proactive approach is for men over 50 to have a regular PSA screening test each year, after talking it over with their doctor.

More information regarding prostate cancer management can be found on the Prostate Foundation website here.

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