Prostate Cancer Detection Test: Early Warning Signs? How do you know you’ve got prostate cancer? Doctors use the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test but this cannot detect early cancer stages and is not very accurate because, to use the words of the Daily Telegraph, it “often indicates problems where none exists”.
Now, a recent research from Bristol University in the UK suggests that early warning signs of prostate cancer can be discovered through protein “growth factors” which are present in higher levels among men with prostate cancer.
Says lead researcher Dr. Mari-Anne Rowlands, a cancer epidemiologist, of their findings: “It’s too early to be certain but these results suggest that we may have identified potential new biomarkers for very early prostate cancer in men with no symptoms. Now we need more research to determine whether levels of these potential biomarkers predict which prostate cancers detected by screening might progress to become life –threatening.”
During their study, the researchers compared a range of biomarkers in 2,686 men with the cancer and in 2,766 men without the disease. They presented their findings at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool.
Commenting on the research, Professor Malcolm Mason of Cancer Research UK said that the findings could be a very important step in identifying men who should be screened for prostate cancer. Recently, British researchers revealed that they are working on urine test to identify men with higher genetic risk of developing prostate cancer.
So to sum things up, the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test which doctors currently use to detect prostate cancer is not very accurate. Now, there is hope that prostate cancer may be detected through protein growth factors but it is too early to tell whether this is the case.
For more cancer-related entries, check out our entry on whether men can get breast cancer, the bad health effects of candle smokes, and how the Provenge anti-prostate cancer drug works.
Prostate Cancer Detection Test: Early Warning Signs? Posted 21 November 2010.