Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men and, according to the American Urological Association (AUA), more than 180,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone. Understanding various risk factors such as race and family history are important for assessing a patient’s risk profile. One in five African-American men and one in three men with a family history will develop prostate cancer. That’s why generating awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health topics during No Shave November is so critical. While prostate cancer can be a very serious disease, when detected early and managed appropriately, it can be effectively treated.
Prostate Cancer Facts
One in seven men in the course of their life will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Only found in males, the prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid. Some types of prostate cancer grow slowly, but there are other more aggressive types that require chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation, surgery, and other forms of treatment.
Prostate cancer symptoms can sometimes include difficulty with urination, but in its early stages there can be no clear symptoms at all. The AUA recommends regular prostate cancer screening every 2 to 4 years to men aged 50 to 69 years. Clinicians should offer prostate cancer screening beginning at age 40 to 45 years for men at increased risk of developing prostate cancer based on the following factors: Black ancestry, germline mutations, or strong family history of prostate cancer.
Prostate Screenings and Early Detection
Early detection is key to the most desirable outcome in the face of a potential cancer diagnosis. Often, early detection begins with a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. While the PSA screening test can be effective, results can sometimes be abnormal in various non-cancerous, benign conditions and PSA lacks the specificity to distinguish between aggressive forms of prostate cancer and less serious cases. Many patients can benefit from a more personalized approach to early detection and diagnosis given the variations of the disease and available treatment options.
The 4Kscore® Test is a follow-up blood test after an abnormal age-specific PSA and/or digital rectal exam (DRE) that has a 96.9% sensitivity in assessing the probability of finding an aggressive form of prostate cancer if a biopsy were to be performed. In addition, 4Kscore has been shown to stratify long-term probability of cancer metastasis, or of dying from prostate cancer. Click here to learn more about 4Kscore from OPKO and BioReference®
For Healthcare Providers: Biomarker tests, like The 4Kscore Test, are useful tools that aid healthcare providers make informed decisions, guide a targeted treatment plan, and help empower patients. Click here to become a client and start ordering 4Kscore and other prostate health tests from OPKO and BioReference.