Having a biopsy can be an unpleasant experience, but it can be an essential part of the diagnostic process. However, a promising new test may soon mean that fewer men are required to undergo a biopsy in order to find out if they have prostate cancer.
New Blood Test for Prostate Cancer
The new prostate cancer test is a blood test that checks for the immune system changes that happen when men are affected by prostate cancer. The test can be used after the PSA blood test
in order to confirm the results. The PSA test detects high levels of prostate specific antigen in the blood, which is a sign of prostate enlargement. The new blood test can then confirm whether the high PSA levels are likely to be caused by prostate cancer by looking at the white blood cells. By combining the results from the two tests, doctors may one day be able to identify which men are most likely to require treatment for prostate cancer.
Although biopsies will still be needed to confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer, fewer men will need to have this procedure. The researchers estimate that 70% of biopsies could be avoided when this new blood test is introduced. The test is not yet ready for medical use, but once the research is completed it could dramatically change the way we diagnose prostate cancer.