According to the Journal of Urology, researchers have successfully developed a new prostate cancer screening test. Researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center tested a combination of a new drug therapy and PSA level changes over time. This identifies men with a high PSA count with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer even though they might have had negative biopsies.
Prostate cancer screening can identify prostate cancer at an early stage before it causes symptoms and is easier to treat. Abnormal tissue or cancer found early increases the chances of recovery because by the time symptoms appear, cancer may have advanced and begun to spread to other parts of the body.
This is why men 40-years-old and over should have annual prostate cancer screenings. If you need to schedule your next (or first) prostate cancer screening and you live in the Los Angeles area, contact the La Peer Department of Urology to schedule an appointment with our expert urologists.
WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
Prostate cancer is cancer is the most common type of cancer among men. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that secretes the liquid portion in semen. Prostate cancer usually does not present any symptoms in its early states. This is why it is vital to schedule regular cancer screenings.
When symptoms of prostate cancer present themselves, they can include:
- Blood in urine
- Blood in ejaculate
- Hip or lower back pain
- Lower back pain
- Frequent, difficult, or painful urinating
The risk factors for developing prostate cancer include genetics, environment, diet, and infections. The treatment for prostate cancer will involve some combination of the removal of the prostate gland, removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, or radiation.
Two other tests have been most commonly used to screen for prostate cancer. During the first, a digital rectal exam (DRE), the examiner will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the adjoining prostate, estimate its size, feel for any lumps, and check for other abnormalities.
The other test, a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, measures the concentration of PSA in the blood. PSA is a chemical produced in the prostate. Higher levels of PSA in the blood can indicate men with prostate cancer. Since other factors (age, race, medications, prostate infection, and an enlarged prostate) can affect PSA levels, a urologist will need to interpret your PSA test results to determine if it is related to prostate cancer.
STUDY: PSA LEVELS MORE EFFECTIVE WITH DRUG THERAPY
This study found that PSA test can be much more effective when used in concert with drug therapy. By using PSA with some specific drugs, prostate cancer can be differentiated from benign prostate disease in patients that have previously proven difficult to diagnose.
The drugs that were used were 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor drugs (finasteride and dutasteride) that are designed to decrease the size of an enlarged prostate. In the presence of cancer, PSA levels would remain persistently high despite prostate shrinkage.
This combination screening method helps doctors gain better insight into the risk of prostate cancer in men with abnormal PSA readings despite a negative biopsy. Despite the fact that biopsies are more and more effective at detecting prostate cancer, a significant amount of patients with prostate cancer turn in negative biopsies.
Researchers successfully detected cancer in men who took part in the phase of the study that involved the combined drug therapy and evaluation of PSA trends. This study could show that these drugs may be very helpful in diagnosing currently undetectable forms of prostate cancer.
Better forms of detection will greatly aid in the treating of prostate cancer.
For more information about prostate cancer screening, contact our Beverly Hills urologists at 855.360.9119 to schedule an appointment.
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