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what is coil and spectrascope what is involved

Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2010

How can you find out if your pc is aggressive or not? what is this coil and spectrascope and what is involved and what will it tell you? I am supposed t1 3+3=6 and biopsay 1 of 12 cancer. psa going down
quite a bit 5.5 to 2.25. have been eating much better green teas pomatrate lots veggies ect..

randy_in_indy's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Oct 2009

It's just like the biopsy...insert into rectum to get a better picture (coil) during the MRI. The big Tube that goes Clank Clank Clank....usually they give you headphones to listen to music...they take several different views while you lie perfectly still and I say perfectly still because if you move they have to redo like happened with me on one of the 4 min views....It lasts about 30-35 minutes usually with that coil in the rear. Not too bad. Hopeful and Opt knows better about the spectroscopy...the latest in that kind of testing it gives an even better picture suposedly than the coil - he should respond as he had it done...plus another test that tells the growth rate of the cancer cells...

Randy in Indy

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1630
Joined: Apr 2009

In your situation of "Active Surveillance" where you have a small amount of cancer within the prostate capsule, you will would want to know if the cancer is aggrssive and would rapidly grow, and spread outside the capsule, or non aggressive, that your cancer has a very low chancd of growing. This can be critical to a treatment option decision.

There is a molecular test performed by a company Aureon, where they , I guess take samples from the parafin blocks from your biopsy and look for aggressive tumors...they then mathematically compare it with other factors such as PSA, gleason, etc to approximately 1000 men who have had radical protectemy, and come up with the likelyhood of the the cancer progressing 8 years in the future.

But be cautioned on the following; there is a sensitivity of 74percent and a a specificity of 64prcent. What that means is tat among 100 bad tuors, for example, they only can identify 75 of them. And among 100 good tumors, they identify as bad in 36. to be honest this is notmuch different than achieved withjust your psa and gleason and percent tumor.

I believe that you can contact Aeuron www.aureon.com or 1-888-797-7284


There is an MRI scan for prostate cancer that is done with a special coil in the rectum. This are certain major hospitals that have a Tesla magnet. There is a 1.5 Tesla magnet, the effective resolution is limited to tumors 0.5cc or larger. There is also a 3 Tesla machine which may have a bit finer resolution.

The most effective MRI for the prostate is called a MRSI (MRI/MRS) and includes the ability to identify cancer metabolites using spectographic analysis.....Basically using the spectoscopy with the MRI provides more accurate results, both the MRI and the spectroscopy are done at the same time.

The MRI is generally covered by insurance, however the spectroscopy is considered investigational and is not covered by medicare which I use.

The test indicates if there is any nodule involvement, if there is involvement in one or two lopes , wll show size of prostate, any evidence of extracapular extension, will stage your disease.

I hope that this helps you


PS In what geographic area are you located? What are you doing for your active surveillance?

Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2010

thank you for your input. i live in iowa. All i have done is psa about ever 3 months
not sure what to do next i have been seeing a nutritionist and have been trying to eat
anything that says kill prostate cancer cells. psa keeps going down. i am 51 so really not
to excited about any of the treatment i have been reading about. anything you can suggest is greatly appreciated.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1630
Joined: Apr 2009

Well, as I understand we are more likely to die from heart disease than prostate cancer, my doctor told me "heart healthy is prostate healthy". In fact, I read someplace that prostate cancer patients actually live longer than the general population, because of improved health habits.

There is this guy Mark A moyad, MD,MPH who does a lot of lecturing about nutrition to prostate cancer patients. He wrote a pamplet "Promoting Wellness for Prostate Cancer Patients.........this pamplet maybe free from Abbott Laboratories. I picked it up at one of his lectures.

I don't know what you have been eating, but there are some foods that artificially lowers PSA,and you need to let your doc know about any of these foods.

Sorry the food you eat will not kill the prostate cancer cells, but heart healthy is a great idea...you also might want to take a d3 vitamin and a multi vitamin that is for women not men. If you drink coffee, drink green tea instead, pomogranite juice is in clinical trial at ucla for patients with rising psa's...the main thing is eat healthy.

There is a new drug called avodart, which I understand is currently in clinical trial for those with low level prostate cancer.....it has proved effective with those who have not been diagnosed..........Taking or not taking this drug is really a 64,000 dollar question....there are some medical onchologists who prescripe this drug to patient on active surveillance......I asked my doc about this drug and he would not prescribe saying it was for people who do not have the disease..........I also asked other doctors about this drug 3 or 4 said no and 1 said yes.

I haven't done any research to see whats happening with this drug in the last few months, but I will....in fact if you come up with any new information, I am very, very interested.

Are you in a city..........and is there any support groups that you attend? There can be a lot of information available...........I also am not familiar with the doctors or hospitals in Iowa, but my advise to you is to find some one who is good that you can see....you only have one life so you want to find someone good for treatment......even if you have to travel every so often, even out of state............I don't have a map in front of me, so I cannot comment on major centers or doctors that are near you.....I know for myself, I travel about 70 miles to see my doc. when there are lots of docs and hospitals here in populated southern california. The vast majority of people who I've met at support groups are not doing this, and want geographic convenience.......I feel that I want the best treatment.