© Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Objectives To determine the diagnostic yield of analysing biparametric (T2- and diffusion-weighted) magnetic resonance imaging (B-MRI) for prostate cancer detection compared with standard digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening. Patients and Methods Review of patients who were enrolled in a trial to undergo multiparametric-prostate (MP)-MRI and MR/ultrasound fusion-guided prostate biopsy at our institution identified 143 men who underwent MP-MRI in addition to standard DRE and PSA-based prostate cancer screening before any prostate biopsy. Patient demographics, DRE staging, PSA level, PSA density (PSAD), and B-MRI findings were assessed for association with prostate cancer detection on biopsy. Results Men with detected prostate cancer tended to be older, with a higher PSA level, higher PSAD, and more screen-positive lesions (SPL) on B-MRI. B-MRI performed well for the detection of prostate cancer with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.80 (compared with 0.66 and 0.74 for PSA level and PSAD, respectively). We derived combined PSA and MRI-based formulas for detection of prostate cancer with optimised thresholds. (i) for PSA and B-MRI: PSA level + 6 x (the number of SPL) > 14 and (ii) for PSAD and B-MRI: 14 × (PSAD) + (the number of SPL) >4.25. AUC for equations 1 and 2 were 0.83 and 0.87 and overall accuracy of prostate cancer detection was 79% in both models. Conclusions The number of lesions positive on B-MRI outperforms PSA alone in detection of prostate cancer. Furthermore, this imaging criteria coupled as an adjunct with PSA level and PSAD, provides even more accuracy in detecting clinically significant prostate cancer.