New Prostate Cancer Blood Test Could Save Lives

A prostate cancer blood test, new on the market, could save lives. The test looks for circulating tumor cells and could avoid unnecessary biopsies and treatments.
So far, tests are very encouraging. By combining the new blood test with the current prostate specific antigen (PSA) results, the diagnosis is more than 90% accurate, according to study results published in the Journal of Urology 
PSA is a protein that the prostate produces. If there is cancer in the prostate, the gland releases more PSA into the blood. Therefore, raised levels of PSA in the blood can be a sign of prostate cancer.
However, other prostate conditions, such as inflammation or noncancerous enlargement of the gland, can also raise PSA levels. 
Circulating tumor cells are cancer cells that have left the original tumor and entered the bloodstream. Once cancer cells are in the bloodstream, they can spread to other parts of the body.

This 90 percent test accuracy is higher than that of any other biomarker for prostate cancer, and could save many lives with its’ accurate diagnosis. It could also lead to a paradigm shift in the way that doctors diagnose and treat this fast-acting disease.

 

 

prostate cancer blood test

 

Prostate Cancer Blood Test: Disease Statistics

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, except for skin cancer. This year, an estimated 174,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with it. Approximately 60% of cases are diagnosed in senior citizen aged men over 65. The average age of diagnosis is 66; the disease rarely occurs before age 40.

 

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 41 will die of it.

This cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed, do survive. In fact, more than 3.1 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Current Treatments

So, to confirm the presence of cancer, the individual undergoes a biopsy, an uncomfortable procedure in which the surgeon removes pieces of the prostate and sends them for tissue analysis.

 

A biopsy of the prostate is not only invasive but also risky, with a high chance of bleeding and infection.

 

Also, the biopsy results of most men with raised PSA levels show that they do not have cancer.

 

Even when biopsies do reveal the presence of cancer, in most cases, the tumor is not aggressive and will not be fatal if doctors leave it untreated.

 

The accuracy of the new blood test should alleviate the need for the painful and less accurate biopsy procedure.

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