0849 GMT June 24, 2019
Experts say fellas may only need one scan between the age of 55 and 60 and be given peace of mind for the rest of their life.
The revolutionary exam would be the first time a national screening program for prostate cancer has been offered on the UK National Health Service (HS) thesun.co.uk wrote.
It has been likened to a mammogram, which is offered to women every three years from 50 to 71 to check for signs of breast cancer. Some 450 men have already had the potentially lifesaving MRI scan as part of a clinical trial, with 350 more due later this year.
If the two trials prove successful, researchers expect the checks to be offered from mobile scanners in every major town in England.
Prof Mark Emberton, from University College London, said the scans are the most important development in prostate cancer diagnosis in 50 years.
They should identify men with aggressive tumors, which require treatment because they are more likely to spread and be deadly.
Those with no signs of cancer or with less aggressive tumors that are never likely to cause problems will be spared treatment.
Around 47,200 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK each year, with 11,600 dying from the disease.
Emberton discussed his upcoming trial and hopes for a national screening program at the Cheltenham Science Festival.
He said: “The trials being done are a world-first and MRI scans are the most important development in prostate cancer diagnosis for 50 years.
“If we show this works, we hope policy-makers will examine the evidence and look at screening for all men aged 55 to 60.
“MRIs are getting cheaper, quicker and simpler, which means they will not need to be done in a hospital.
“It is quite possible for MRIs to be done in supermarket car parks and to have one in every major town.
“We hope 90 percent of all men would get a clean bill of health as a result of having a negative MRI.
“Men increasingly worry about prostate cancer as celebrities share their stories.
“After Stephen Fry and others shared their stories, many men came to hospital clinics looking for reassurance.
“A negative MRI is the surest way we have of providing that reassurance.” He added: “If it works, I think in time — and I can’t see why it won’t — maybe we have a test that we can offer men aged 55, as a once in a lifetime test to see if you’re at risk of prostate cancer.
“And then if you are, you go into a surveillance program.”
Hashim Ahmed, who led the earlier trial at Imperial College London, said: “We wanted an imaging test similar to a mammogram which could be used in men.
“We see similar rates of diagnoses and deaths in prostate and breast cancer, so it makes sense.
“In the future we might be able to justify screening all healthy older men for prostate cancer just as we do for women with breast cancer.”