Enlarged Prostate On CT

The prostate gland is located between the base of the penis and rectum.  The gland is responsible for producing seminal fluid which mixes with sperm from the testicles and aids in transport and nutrition.  An enlarged gland usually occurs with aging.  Enlarged prostate can lead to urinary symptoms such as hesitancy, nocturia and weak stream.   The gland is well seen on CT scans which include the pelvis.

CT is not the best modality to image the prostate gland.  CT does not pick up cancers, inflammation and many other diseases.   It can however detect an enlarged gland.  The typical volume cutoff is 30 cc but an experienced radiologist can usually tell if the gland is enlarged from experience.  This will usually be mentioned in the report.

An enlarged gland will be do to the aging process in most cases.  Usually prostate cancer is not detected on CT.  An enlarged gland does not mean you have cancer or any disease process.  However, it does not exclude it.  A CT can occasionally detect a collection such as an abscess.  In advanced cases, cancer can be seen invading adjacent organs such as the bladder or spread to the bone and lymph nodes.

Further investigation will often be need including taking a detailed history, getting blood tests, digital rectal exam by your doctor and more advanced imaging tests like prostate MRI.  In some cases where there is concern for cancer, biopsies may be taken.  In all cases, this imaging finding must be further evaluated by your doctor.


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