A new study has found that many men with low risk prostate cancer are receiving inappropriate imaging tests like PET or MRI scans, while other men with high risk prostate cancer are not receiving the imaging tests that they need.
The research found that 39% of men diagnosed with high risk prostate cancer did not receive any advanced imaging tests like PET, CT, or MRI despite the fact that advanced imaging is indicated in high risk prostate cancer patients.
On the other hand, 36% of men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer, for whom it is typically recommended that no advanced imaging tests be ordered, underwent these tests.
While each patient's medical history and personal details play a large part in a physician's decision about which tests to order, the study does shed some light on the fact that many patients receive medical care that is outside of the guidelines for their disease.
Unnecessary tests result in added costs to the health care system and potential harm to the patient, while missed tests in men who actually need them can lead to misdiagnoses or under-diagnoses.