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Can needle biopsies spread prostate cancer?

Video: Can Needle Biopsies Spread Prostate Cancer?

I have heard that needle biopsies pose a risk of spreading the disease through needle tacking? Explain? I was told to avoid needle biopsies and have an MRI-S instead, as the MRI-S creates a GPS like map of the prostate gland.

Dr. Bans explains that needle biopsies are necessary to help establish a diagnosis, saying the risk of the cancer spreading as a result of the procedure is rare. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spectroscopy may identify abnormal areas of the prostate, but the scan is not enough on its own to provide a reliable diagnosis, Dr. Bans says. 

View transcript

Larry Bans: The truth about needle biopsies is we certainly don’t know with one hundred percent certainty whether or not there may be spread or tracking along the needle tract. We can say that after hundreds of thousands of biopsies over decades, we do not think there is an increased risk of seeding the tract or spread with needle biopsies. I tend to take the opinion that really without a needle biopsy we cannot accurately make the diagnosis of prostate cancer, so it’s a necessary procedure to do to establish a diagnosis. I think the risk of seeding or tracking or spreading cancer with prostate needle biopsies, if there is a risk at all, has to be exceedingly rare and low. The MRI-S, which stands for the MRI scan with spectroscopy of the prostate, is something that’s being used to try to determine if there are abnormal areas in the prostate which potentially could be malignant. So far I don’t think the sensitivity or specificity of the test dictates that we can actually make a diagnosis of prostate cancer on the basis of the MRI alone, so it’s helpful sometimes in trying to determine who should and should not be biopsied, or who should or should not be rebiopsied, but I don’t think it can accurately establish a diagnosis of cancer and I think the only way to truly do that at this point in time is with biopsy.

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