By Dwayne Monteiro, produced for online by Ainsley O’Keefe

There has been a breakthrough in the battle against prostate cancer with advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) introduced at Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital.

The technology aims to reduce the number of men needing to undergo painful and invasive biopsies where up to 12 needles are inserted.

It was designed in collaboration with Dutch prostate expert Jelle Barentsz and is reported to detect prostate cancer with a 90 per cent accuracy rate.

Dr Stephen Ruthven, president of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, says the industry is excited by the latest developments.

However he still encourages men to seek biopsies when needed.

“MRI has not proven to be an alternative to those investigative procedures to find out whether men do have a cancer and, if so, if it is a bad one,” he said.

Associate Professor Mark Frydenberg, who is board member of Andrology Australia, also believes men should not view MRI’s as a substitute for biopsies.

“I wouldn’t want people to feel that they could just have an MRI and avoid a biopsy because mistakes will be made that way,” Professor Frydenberg said.

“The advantage about giving an MRI prior to doing a biopsy is that you can sometimes see where the legion is, which means you can direct your biopsies more accurately.

“If you know where there is a suspicious area you can sample that area more carefully than you would normally.”