What is Prostate Cancer?
As men age, many experience issues related to prostate health. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers and a leading cause of cancer death for men. But not all cases of prostate cancer are deadly or need treatment. There are two different forms of prostate cancer:
Indolent Prostate Cancer:
- Cancer cells grow slowly
- Stays within the prostate without spreading to other parts of the body
- Most men lead a normal, full lives without treatment
Aggressive Prostate Cancer:
- Fast growing cancer cells
- Spreads to other parts of the body
- Requires monitoring and treatment
- This is the deadly form of the disease, but it is treatable if diagnosed early
Who is at Risk of Prostate Cancer?
Studies show that about 1 in every 7 men will have some form of prostate cancer in their lives. Risk factors that can play a role in developing prostate cancer include:
- Age: Men’s risk increases rapidly after age 50, with about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer found in men older than 65 
- Family history and genetic predisposition: Men with an immediate family member (father, brother) who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are at elevated risk to develop the disease
- Race: African American men are at an increased risk compared to other groups
All told, nearly 3 million men in the United States are currently living with prostate cancer. The good news is that most cases of prostate cancer are caught early and either successfully treated or are diagnosed as “indolent”– too slow-growing to cause harm.
What Screening is Available for Prostate Cancer?
Though a prostate biopsy is required to definitively diagnose the presence and severity of prostate cancer, a routine blood test called a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is often used as a screening tool to assess the health of a man’s prostate. Unfortunately, PSA screening has significant limitations.
- PSA has low specificity for distinguishing between cancer and other common conditions that can cause an abnormal PSA result, such as prostatitis, prostate enlargement, etc.
- PSA results cannot distinguish between indolent (non life-threatening) or aggressive (potentially lethal) forms of prostate cancer
Because of these limitations, patients with elevated PSA findings frequently undergo prostate biopsies or treatment that may not be necessary and which may result in significant complications including pain, urinary incontinence, or impotence. Approximately 75% of men undergoing a prostate biopsy are found to have no cancer or the indolent form of prostate cancer, while enduring the pain and possible complications associated with the biopsy procedure.
4Kscore from BioReference
The 4Kscore is a simple blood test that:
- Accurately identifies your risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer
- Provides information that can minimize unnecessary medical procedures
- Has been proven by over a decade of research involving thousands of patients at leading cancer research centers around the world
When to Get Tested
The 4Kscore Test is for men who have:
- An elevated PSA test result (>3 ng/mL) and/or an abnormal DRE (Digital Rectal Exam)
- PSA levels that are rapidly increasing (PSA velocity)
- Clinical findings suspicious for aggressive prostate cancer, including inconclusive imaging studies such as MRI
Get peace of mind for your prostate health, and clarification on your risk for aggressive prostate cancer. Speak with your physician to confirm if the 4Kscore is right for you.