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MRI scan could predetermine side effects men will experience if radiation is prescribed for treating prostate cancer

A Corewell Health study published in in the journal Academic Radiology.

One side effects men diagnosed with prostate cancer experience when receiving radiation treatment is the risk of experiencing moderate or chronic urges to urinate.

A Corewell Health radiologist began researching the issue. Dr. Kiran Nandular says, “While chronic moderate urinary side effects were more problematic in approximately 28% of participants after three years, the good news is less than 3% of men experienced severe urinary side effects.”

Why the disparity? Dr. Nandalur found that the longer the prostatic urethra, the greater the chance of radiation inflammation. The findings published in the journal Academic Radiology demonstrated that in the MRI’s of 361 male patient’s prostatic urethra’s, for every 1-centimeter increase in urethra length, roughly 60% were more likely to experience urination urgency. For patients with prostatic urethra’s greater than 4.6 centimeters in length, the likelihood of experiencing the need to urinate was twice as likely.

Dr. Nandalur says an MRI scan revealing the urethra’s length can help with making informed treatment decisions and doctors to consider ways to spare the prostatic urethra from radiation.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.