The earlier cancer is detected, the greater the chance of recovery.
It’s a message worth repeating to encourage people to get screenings for early detection of all kinds of cancer.
There’s a caveat, however: Early or “pre-cancer” symptoms can be difficult to recognize because the tumors may be too small to detect using conventional scanning techniques and analysis.
But with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI), WellSpan Health now has new tools to identify prostate cancer tumors in their earliest stages.
“We just have not been able to see these tumors prior to this technology,” says Edward Steiner, MD, chair of WellSpan Imaging and Radiation Oncology. “It’s game-changing technology. The computer processes the images, colorizes them to combine data from five different MRI scanning sequences using AI, and now we can look at the image and say, ‘Wow, that’s abnormal and we did not see this before’.”
This state-of the-art diagnostic tool became easily accessible to central Pennsylvania residents when it was acquired by WellSpan last fall.
Early diagnosis of prostate cancer means greatly improved survival rates. Once the cancer spreads past the gland, the cure rate drops from over 90 percent to 30 percent.
In all of the counties we serve, a doctor who wants to further explore a prostate cancer diagnosis – due to an elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) or other concern – arranges a fusion biopsy with WellSpan York Hospital or the WellSpan Health and Surgery Center in Hanover. A fusion biopsy combines MRI and ultrasound technology. Using AI, the radiologist can precisely target the tumor to be biopsied.
WellSpan cancer specialists offer expert care and advanced care treatment options our five community-based cancer centers in the region. Our collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center brings the expertise of one of the nation’s leaders in research and innovation to help in your fight against cancer.