Mercy Health now offering imaging for prostate cancer

Mercy Health Springfield is now offering new technology that will help to diagnose prostate cancer.

The Prostate Specific Membrane Antigram (PSMA) imaging will help diagnose prostate cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in men as one in nine will have it at some point in their lives.

“We’re excited to have this new technology, which can help identify cancer both in and outside the prostate gland. It will especially benefit men who have experienced a recurrence of the disease after previous treatments, as they are at risk for it spreading to other parts of the body,” said Jodi Kincaid, radiology manager at Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center.

PSMA is a protein typically found on healthy prostate cells but appears in much larger quantities on prostate cancer cells.

During imaging, the patient is injected with a radioactive tracer that the PSMA cells attract. This allows the doctor to more easily see whether any prostate cancer cells are present during a PET/CT scan and helps show where the cancer cells are located, which also helps to see if the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

“Treatment for prostate cancer can range from radiation to chemotherapy, hormone medications, even surgery. This new technology provides additional information to help providers figure out what is going to be most effective for the patient they’re treating, and it ensures they know the correct location within the body to help target the treatment,” Kincaid said.

PSMA imaging is not intended to be a screening tool for prostate cancer. It’s for those who have already been diagnosed with it, and either have a high chance of it spreading or have a recurrence after initial treatment.

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