Please Note: Not All Prostate MRI Programs Are The Same
As the first dedicated prostate screening facility in the US, FirstScan™ pioneered the most innovative diagnostic tools and clinical methods for prostate cancer detection.
One important method change is the elimination of costly, invasive intravenous contrast agent for a routine prostate screen. No needles, less time, less cost and proven clinical results second-to-none in the region.
With training and quality oversight from the foremost world experts, FirstScan™ has performed more Prostate MRIs in the past year than all the hospitals in the region combined and validated the results with very high accuracy rates.
FirstScan™ Saves Our Patients Unnecessary, Painful Biopsies
FirstScan™ Prostate MRI is highly accurate
At FirstScan, we work diligently to provide the highest accuracy rates for our Prostate MRI adjunctive screening program. When we report that you have prostate cancer or that you are cancer-free, there's a very high chance we are correct.
We Measured Our Accuracy Recently
In partnership with the Nebraska Cancer Institute and Creighton University, we conducted an Institutional Review Board (IRB) of our prostate MRI accuracy rates. Each patient's MRI prostate screening results were analyzed and confirmed by independent urologist biopsies. The results were submitted to and accepted by the Society of Abdominal Radiology for a peer-reviewed clinical publication and presentation. Our study concluded FirstScan™'s prostate MRI adjunctive screening has an accuracy rate of:
93-98% Accuracy Rate for
Negative Predictive Value (NPV)
supporting a cancer-free diagnosis
89-93% Accuracy Rate for
Positive Predictive Value (PPV)
supporting a cancer diagnosis
Compared to the roughly <50% accuracy of non-image guided 12 core biopsies (TRUS)
and digital rectal exams (DREs), our accuracy rates are significant
In short, we are THE prostate cancer detection specialists of the
Nebraska, the Dakotas, Kansas, and Iowa region.
Non-Invasive Prostate Cancer Screening
FirstScan™'s technology has made the painful endorectal probe obsolete. When we say we are fully non-invasive we mean it!
If your PSA level is elevated, FirstScan™ offers highly accurate MRI prostate imaging. The MRI prostate scan lasts approximately 20 minutes. We utilize an external, state-of-the-art wearable (and flexible) prostate imaging antenna and a 3 Tesla MRI system with all of the latest academically proven imaging protocols.
The results are read by a board-certified radiologist with considerable MRI experience and scored (cancer type and stage), taking into consideration other related patient risk factors and clinical concerns, with an outcome of over 80% accuracy. The few cases that warrant further validation, your urologist will discuss your options with you.
Improving the Standard Of Care
Our primary goal is to identify aggressive and dangerous cancers early when treatment is most effective. Working with your urologist, we seek to eliminate unnecessary and painful randomized biopsies (TRUS) and digital rectal exams (DRE). Using FirstScan™'s adjunctive screening process, we will provide your urologist with the results of your prostate MRI scan. Your urologist will then use the data for comprehensive diagnosis, treatment planning, and targeted biopsies if any suspicious areas are identified for clinically significant cancer. With FirstScan™'s prostate MRI and your urologist's expertise, you'll be able to make a truly informed decision about your prostate health.
Prostate MRI is more accurate, less invasive.
It’s an easy choice when faced with a potentially difficult path.
Prostate MRI Informative Downloads:
Prostate MRI Interpretive Guide for Patients
The terminology used in formal MRI reports is highly-specialized and intended for medical professionals. So, it can be very confusing for patients. This brief guide will help clarify some of the most significant technical aspects of your report. Only your physician can actually make a diagnosis and recommend treatment, so please direct any questions about the interpretation and meaning of your MRI report to them.
An Overview of Prostate Cancer
Detection, Validation, Surveillance and Treatment Options – The Role of MRI for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
A paper by Randall W. Jones, D.Eng. (PhD, MBA), and Stephen W. Leslie, MD FACS
Prostate MRI FAQs
Prostate Cancer Resources
CHI Us Too/Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Group (Omaha)
Are you looking for a support group in the Omaha area?
The US Too/Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Group is a wonderful resource for prostate cancer patients and their families.
First Tuesday of the month
Bergan Mercy Campus. This support group meets on the 2nd level of the Bergan Mercy Medical Center Medical Office Building in classrooms B&C.
Prostate Cancer Foundation: Support Groups
Prostate Cancer Treatment Research Foundation
Mayo Clinic: Prostate Cancer Information
Zero: The End of Prostate Cancer
American Cancer Society: Prostate Cancer
PC-REF: Prostate Cancer Research & Education Foundation
UsToo: Prostate Cancer Support Group
How Prostate Cancer Support Groups Run
Should I have this done at a hospital in the meantime as my insurance will cover it?
Every patient’s coverage is different, so we cannot speak specifically to this point. However, what we can say is that just because your insurance covers a hospital MRI it is important to remember a few key things:
Hospital charges are typically 3-4 times higher than that of an independent facility like FirstScan™. In fact, most range from $2,000 - $3,000.That cost likely does not include the radiologist interpretation, and in most cases, you will be billed separately for that. The prices for interpretation can range anywhere from $200-$500.
If you have not met your deductible, you may be responsible for part or all of the total cost
If you have met your deductible, but not your maximum out of pocket, you will still owe for the exam. Most plans will pay at 80% (with the patient being responsible for the remaining 20% of the hospital charge, which again is 3-4 times higher than that of FirstScan).
Is your study the same as one that the hospitals are offering?
The short answer is no. FirstScan™ offers a 100% non-invasive MRI that takes approximately 20 minutes. There are some brief patient preparation guidelines that we do ask of our patients (namely to refrain from eating 4-6 hours before the exam and to take a Gas-X before arriving). The following are details of a typical hospital prostate MRI exam:
The hospital will image you with what is called an endorectal coil. This is essentially a rectal probe. Some will provide muscle relaxers for their 45-60 minute exam, but you will have to remain in the MRI scanner, with this coil inserted in your rectum for 45-60 minutes. If they do not use an endorectal probe, they will use a non-dedicated body antenna that is not optimized for prostate anatomy, leading to inferior diagnostic images.
Hospitals typically ask that patients undergoing this exam use 2-3 enemas at different intervals before arriving. This is solely at the patient’s expense.
Generally speaking, MRIs differ in three areas: The radiologist, the technologist, and the technology.
FirstScan™’s radiologist is the only prostate ‘expert’ in the area. He has read hundreds of prostate MRI studies, has had a fellowship with Dr. John Feller, MD, a world thought leader in prostate radiology, and consults with this world expert when the need arises. Since most area hospitals do not perform many prostate MRIs, their radiologists, while all very competent, do not possess the requisite experience to accurately interpret the MRI. At FirstScan™, you can rest assured that your MRI interpretation is extremely accurate. When we say you don’t have cancer, it is 93-98% certain that you don’t!
Much like FirstScan™’s radiologist, FirstScan™’s technologist, or MRI operator, has scanned hundreds of prostates. As mentioned above, since hospitals do not see many of these exams, their technologists (as with their radiologists) may lack the experience to provide a quality exam for the radiologist to interpret. Again, this is not due to a lack of skill or competency, but rather due to a lack of exposure and volume. Hospitals simply do not focus on this procedure whereas this is FirstScan™’s primary activity.
FirstScan™ utilizes a FDA-approved, proprietary (patented) coil or antennae that is 100% non-invasive and is at the forefront of MRI coil technology. We liken it to wearing a pair of swim trunks or boxer shorts. The hospitals in the region do not employ this technology.
I have a rising PSA, why hasn’t my physician recommended FirstScan?
Using MRI as a means to ‘screen’ for prostate cancer is a relatively new concept, and some physicians may simply not be aware of the advancements that have occurred in MRI technology. We have had discussions with most of the physician groups in the Omaha, NE and Lincoln, NE area. However, we have not yet reached everyone. We encourage you to print off material that you find on our website and bring that in to discuss with your physician. They are more than welcome to call us as well for more details. We are also more than happy to go visit with them if you, or they, would prefer.
Since this is a ‘screening’ procedure, can you give me my results?
FirstScan™ requires written orders from your physician before performing the study. Your healthcare is a serious matter and we want to ensure that your healthcare team is actively involved in your care. For that same reason, we will only report the findings of your study to the referring physician. Your physician would then, in turn, discuss the findings with you. This ensures that your questions and concerns are appropriately addressed. We typically provide
results to your physician within 24-48 hours of performing your study. You are free to contact them after that to obtain your results.
Does your MRI Prostate Screen require a contrast injection?
No. Our study is 100% non-invasive. It does not need a dynamic contrast injection (DCE). A prostate MRI scan at the hospital will require the contrast agent. We have chosen not to include this in our study protocol because of recent studies outlining the decreased efficacy of DCE in highlighting lesions on the prostate gland. Furthermore, due to the unique nature of our non-invasive coil, the images created are of such greater clarity that it renders DCE unnecessary for all but a few unique situations.
When is the best time to have an MRI of my prostate done?
The US National Library of Medicine suggests that MRI of the prostate be used adjunct to PSA (and/or DRE) screening, and when the PSA increases (also called PSA velocity) and continues to do so. The ideal time to have the scan done is PRIOR to a TRUS biopsy. Patients who have had a negative TRUS biopsy are also good candidates for the exam. We can tell with a high degree of certainty whether or not another TRUS biopsy is needed. It is also recommended that patients with a family history of prostate cancer begin screening at age 45 (age 40 for the African American population) including both PSA and MRI.
I am unsure if I am claustrophobic, and I am nervous about having the exam performed. Will I go into the scanner head first?
No. Patients go into the scanner feet first, lying on their back. Depending on one’s height, the top of one’s head may stick out of the scanner itself. If you are worried about claustrophobia speak to your doctor about receiving a prescription for valium or other mild sedative.