In other words, the more we are able to evolve in diagnostic technology (especially in terms of precision) and the earlier we can act, the better results we will be able to achieve in terms of survival and quality of life.

One of these examples, available for the past 4 months at the HPA in Gambels, in the Urology Services, is high-definition prostate microultrasound.

Current conventional ultrasound systems operate at 8 to 12 MHz frequencies. Recently, innovative ultrasound systems have been developed that, operating at higher frequencies (21 to 29 MHz), improve image resolution by about 300%. This increase in resolution, as is the case with prostate microultrasound, allows for a more detailed and accurate visualisation and characterisation of images of the prostate, permitting identification of regions suspected of malignancy increasing the probability of detecting tumours.

Several studies have proven that a more detailed intraprostatic visualisation, provided by a high-resolution ultrasound system, improves the detection rate of tumour lesions compared to conventional ultrasound.

In addition, these systems have also contributed to the stratification risk of prostatic carcinoma. With high-risk diseases an early and precise detection, will result in insignificant disease being detected and will consequently, restrict the administration of unnecessary therapies in these cases.

We are very happy with the results we have obtained, reveals Prof. Dr. Tiago S Rodrigues, Urologist and great promoter of this technique, which is, for now, the only equipment available in Portugal. Of the 51 procedures we have already performed, we were able to determine 65% of these were confirmed cases of prostate cancer. A figure that clearly reveals the importance of this test as a means of obtaining an early diagnosis, with all that it implies in terms of survival and quality of life for patients.

A prostate carcinoma is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in men in the Western world and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. These indicators reveal the importance of an early diagnosis and accurate staging in implementing adequate, timely and personalised therapy.

Currently, the diagnosis of a prostate carcinoma is established through an ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (gold-standard), usually performed after an altered PSA result, rectal examination or imaging exams when cancer is suspected (MRI or transrectal ultrasound). However, this diagnostic sequence sometimes has significant limitations.

These imaging exams makes it possible to perform guided biopsies, as opposed to classical randomised biopsies, either by high-definition ultrasound alone, or by using fusion techniques with the images previously obtained in an MRI. In addition, at the HPA, all biopsies are performed under sedation, ensuring a painless and comfortable procedure, as well as transperineally, to drastically reduce the risk of infection.

Prof. Dr. Tiago S. Rodrigues, Urologist at HPA – Alvor and HPA - Gambelas

Tel: +351 282 420 400