Although prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, treatment has resulted in a 99 percent average five-year survival rate for diagnosed individuals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, some experts argue that survival rate could be even higher with screening that is less invasive than the current standard.
Standard prostate cancer screening involves a prostate exam and a blood test that aims to identify a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) biomarker. If a man’s PSA level is high, doctors recommend a prostate biopsy. But for every four men who undergo the procedure, only three will end up having aggressive prostate cancer.
Dr. Harry Fisch, a board certified urologist based at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University is aiming to eliminate what he called that “unnecessary poking and prodding” with a more precise screening method called the 4Kscore test.
The screening method, which was developed by OPKO Lab in Nashville, Tennessee, incorporates a panel of four biomarkers and other clinical information to provide a more accurate reading of how aggressive an individual’s prostate cancer may be, Fisch told FoxNews.com He recommended that men who have high PSA levels take this additional blood test before getting a biopsy.
“It is commercially available right now, and it's been studied over many years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,” Fisch said.
Screening is recommended for men between 40 and 50, and African Americans and men who have a family history of prostate cancer have the highest risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
If you think you would benefit from the 4Kscore test and others like it, speak with your doctor.