The first of the imaging methods is an MRI scan, and the second is ultrasound imaging. The Artemis is a newly developed machine that allows the physician to see both of the image types simultaneously and manipulate the resulting 3D image in real-time.
This method is advantageous because traditional biopsies are often not enough to properly diagnose prostate cancer. Traditional biopsies usually entail the physician taking samples from 12 areas that are historically good indicators of cancer. However, these samples aren't specific to the patient like the biopsies that the physicians are able to get through Artemis imaging technology. Additionally, there are many cases of prostate cancer that don't require treatment, and this technique helps distinguish those cases from cases that do require treatment.
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The patients who are likely to be recommended to undergo Artemis biopsy are patients who are at-risk for or exhibiting symptoms of prostate cancer. Before a physician recommends a patient for this procedure they will need to consider the patient's family history, medical history, current medications, previous operations, current symptoms, and the results of other diagnostic tests.
For example, many physicians will perform a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood test and a digital rectal exam, or DRE, prior to considering any type of biopsy. If the patient has elevated PSA levels or low PSA levels with on-going symptoms, they are likely to be recommended for further diagnostic procedures like the Artemis biopsy. If initial testing and symptoms indicate that the patient would benefit from this procedure, they will most likely be considered a candidate.
Prior to any Artemis biopsy procedure, the patient's physician should provide them with details about how they should prepare for the procedure. Typically, these instructions will not be excessive, but they are important as they will include information about what medications should be halted and when the procedure will take place. Some doctors require the patient to utilize an enema prior to their appointment.
The day of the procedure the patient will have their MRI scan completed, and the radiologist will analyze the product and mark any concerning areas. Then, the urologist will collect ultrasound images. The Artemis will combine these images in real-time for the urologist. This will allow the physician to biopsy areas of concern that are specific to that patient. The amount of time that this procedure takes can vary quite a bit, depending on whether the MRI is done the same day and the number of problem areas that require sampling. However, the patient is able to go home on their own immediately after the biopsy.
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