Waco: New technology helps detect prostate cancer early

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center is using new technology to help detect prostate cancer.

Doctors used an injection called Axumin, which releases a synthetic amino acid containing fluorine which binds to the cancer cells and makes it visible in a CT scan. (Photo courtesy of Axumin)

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men other than skin cancer according to the American Cancer Society and now a new technology is allowing doctors to detect small levels of PSA and is helping save lives.

Dr. Michal Wolski says this new imaging technology can pinpoint exactly where the prostate cancer is.

Doctors used an injection called Axumin, which releases a synthetic amino acid containing fluorine which binds to the cancer cells and makes it visible in a CT scan.

“With this new technology we are able to detect PSA levels less than one, Wolski said.

“In one of my patients, using this technology, we detected it at less than 0.3,” Wolski said.

That patient is Peter Nichols, 73.

The early detection allowed him to go about his daily life as a bus driver for the Midway Independent School District and watch his 5-year-old great-grandson grow.

“You know I had this recurrence while I was driving and I was treated and everything and I continued to drive during the treatment, it was real, real easy. It was like treating the common cold,” Nichols said.

Nichols says he is thankful for the doctors at the hospital and for the procedure and he hopes to now get to spend several more years watching his great-grandson grow up.

Wolski says this new technology has a 96 percent detection rate.

“So what we have now is we're able to enhance patient treatment because we can offer a higher dose of radiation, and have it be much more focused and much more precise,” Wolski said.

Wolski says this is something doctors could not do a decade ago.

He also says a benefit of using this treatment is that there are limited side effects compared to traditional radiation and chemotherapy.