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Your consultant may suggest a PSMA PET scan after treatment for prostate cancer. This scans checks whether any cancer cells are left. 

  • Also called a PSMA PET-CT scan
  • Can find cancer more accurately than CT and bone scans
  • Used after treatment for prostate cancer

Birmingham Prostate Clinic are a team of leading urologists and oncologists, who specialise in diagnosing and treating prostate, bladder and kidney conditions. 

Our consultants are here with specialist medical advice and seamless pathways for the latest tests and treatments for prostate cancer, including the PSMA PET scan.

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What is a PSMA PET scan?

There are a number of advanced scans your consultant can use to assess prostate cancer. One of these is a PSMA PET scan, which is becoming one of the most important scans for finding recurring prostate cancer. 

A PSMA PET scan is used after treatment for high-risk prostate cancer, or if your PSA blood test is rising after treatment. A rising PSA may be a sign that there are prostate cancer cells left after treatment.

How does it work? 

As part of the scan, you have an injection of a substance called a ‘tracer’. Cancer cells respond differently to this tracer than your normal body cells, by taking it into the cells much faster. During the scan, these cells ‘light up’, creating a detailed image of areas that may contain prostate cancer cells.

 “PET scans allow us to understand how cells behave on a biological level, which would not be evident in CT or MRI scans (no matter how advanced), because they depend on size changes to detect cancer,” explains Dr Peter Guest, consultant radiologist who works in association with Birmingham Prostate Clinic.

How is a PSMA PET different from other scans?

Compared to CT scans alone, the PSMA PET scan can show remaining prostate cancer earlier. This includes cancer that has spread from the prostate gland (metastatic prostate cancer).

Other scans rely on the cancer having grown large enough to be seen by the imaging technology, whereas PSMA PET shows cancer cells reacting to the tracer substance.

“Our experience is that for a specific group of patients, this is a very useful test: these are patients for whom we suspect there is some residual prostate cancer, but traditional tests don’t tell us where or how extensive.”

– Mr Alan Doherty, Clinical Director at Birmingham Prostate Clinic

How might the scan affect my treatment?

If the scan suggests you still have prostate cancer cells in your body, your specialist will discuss what this means for you. You might need to try another treatment, and the results of the PSMA PET scan can help target this treatment to the cancer cells.  

Our consultants are here to help you understand your options for prostate cancer, with seamless patient pathways to some of the latest treatments for prostate cancer. 

Once you have had tests and scans, together with your expert consultant, you can create a treatment plan that fits your needs.

Why should I choose Birmingham Prostate Clinic?

We are a group of leading urologists and oncologists, here to offer specialist advice on accessing care pathways for prostate cancer, including a PSMA PET Scan after treatment. 

We know how important it is to receive personalised prostate cancer care. This means considering what matters most to you, whether that’s being close to home, minimising side effects, and offering the best possible outcomes.

What do I need to know before having my scan?

Just before you have the PSMA PET scan, you receive an injection of the tracer substance.  

The tracer is radioactive, which means there’s a small chance that it can damage cells, leading to cancer. The risk of this happening to you is low (less than 1 in 100 people). 

Sometimes the injection can cause bruising, which is temporary.

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How can we help?

Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about tests or treatment, or to book an appointment with an expert consultant near you.