A new test is twice as effective at detecting prostate cancer as the existing blood test that checks for the disease, according to a new study.
Called Stockholm3, it includes a single blood test that looks for five proteins released from the prostate when there is cancer, including kallikrein 2, and two different measures of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The test also looks at genetic markers.
The current blood test used to detect prostate cancer only looks for PSA. Levels can rise if cancer is present, but not all cancers actually raise PSA levels. In addition, PSA levels can rise for other reasons, such as infection and increasing age – meaning that the PSA blood test can falsely reassure someone that cancer is not present, and lead to unnecessary scans and biopsies when levels are elevated for other reasons. raised. cancer.
Since the new test also identifies other proteins and genetic markers, it is believed to increase accuracy.
The results of the blood test are then combined with personal information, including the person’s age and family history, as well as genetic markers: these are used to produce a score that reflects the risk of prostate cancer requiring treatment.
A new test is twice as effective at detecting prostate cancer as the existing blood test that checks for the disease, according to a new study (File Image)
A score of at least 11 percent is an indicator of an increased risk of prostate cancer and the patient would be referred for an MRI scan, which could then lead to a biopsy.
Compared to the PSA test, Stockholm3 halves the number of unnecessary biopsies, according to new research presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Milan in March.
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The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland located between the penis and bladder: its role is to produce a fluid that mixes with semen to produce semen. There are over 50,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the UK each year and around 12,000 deaths.
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, with most cases diagnosed after age 50, but ethnicity and family history may play a role.
Results from a four-year study in Stockholm, Sweden, involving more than 5,000 men, showed that the new test also led to a 28 percent reduction in cancers detected too late for treatment compared to centers that only used the PSA test.
Previous research showed that the new test finds twice as many cancers in need of treatment compared to a PSA test, the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health reported in 2020.
So far the new test, which costs around ?395, is only available from a handful of private clinics.
Professor Raj Persad, a urologist consultant at the private Bristol Urology Associates clinic, said: ‘This test could save patients anxiety, stress and costs by avoiding MRI and biopsy where it is not needed, and it also brings cases to the fore light that were possible until now. missed at an early stage of cancer development.
‘It is just being introduced in the UK and needs careful evaluation before establishing its place in NHS clinical practice.’
Men with the highest triglyceride levels were 4.57 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with the lowest (File image)
According to a recent study in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, having high levels of a type of fat called triglycerides in the blood can lead to an almost five-fold increase in the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
Triglycerides are mainly found in meat, butter and cooking oil and are stored in fat cells and released when needed for energy. Scientists studied the medical records of more than 1,700 men who had undergone a biopsy, 720 of whom were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
According to researchers at the University of Ulsan in South Korea, men with the highest triglyceride levels were 4.57 times more likely to get the disease than men with the lowest levels.
One theory is that the fat may increase inflammation, which is involved in cancer development.