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Consultant urologist Simon BottFrimley Health has played a key role in a medical breakthrough that could revolutionise the way prostate cancer is detected and diagnosed.

Our Frimley Park Hospital contributed to research which found that MRI scans are twice as effective as biopsies at spotting the cancers.

The technique could potentially save the lives of thousands of men every year.

Simon Bott, a consultant urologist at Frimley Park Hospital, said: “This will completely change the way we diagnose prostate cancer nationally.”

A total of 11 hospitals across the country joined the study, with Frimley Park recruiting 30 patients to take part.

In Britain prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect men. Every year about 47,000 men are diagnosed with the disease and it kills around 11,000 people annually.

Prostate cancer is currently diagnosed by a blood test followed by a biopsy in which a needle is inserted into the gland.

Mr Bott said: “With the current biopsy procedure you risk either missing the cancer completely or, if you only catch the edge of it, incorrectly categorising it.”

However, when MRI scans detect cancer they allow biopsies to be better targeted.

Mr Bott added: “Not only this, we can use MRI to rule out prostate cancer, meaning fewer unnecessary and painful prostate biopsies”

Multi-parametric MRIs look at the anatomy of the prostate as well as its water and blood supplies so medics are better able to detect abnormalities.

In the study, 93 per cent of aggressive tumours were spotted by MRI, compared with 48 per cent caught by the standard prostate biopsy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is now considering whether the new diagnostic method should be introduced.

Mr Bott said: “The results of this study are ground-breaking and of international importance. They are a really important step forward for men concerned about and potentially having prostate cancer.”