Here’s a breaking news from the BBC App that came out just as we are about to go to print.

An experimental new urine test can reveal if men with early prostate cancer will probably need aggressive therapy or can be left untreated but monitored, UK researchers say.

Current PSA blood tests cannot do this, meaning many men experience unnecessary worry, investigations and treatment.

The prostate urine risk (PUR) test looks for genetic markers to give a more accurate assessment. Trials in 537 patients suggest it can reliably sort men by risk.

It is one of a number of new tests - including other urine-based ones, as well as blood tests and scans - scientists are pursuing to improve prostate cancer detection. A combination of checks rather than one single test may ultimately prove to be the best approach, experts say.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men in the world. According to the Department of Health (DOH), cancer is the third leading cause of deaths in the Philippines and 19.3 percent of every 100,000 Filipino men are affected by prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer occurs when the size of the prostate began to grow uncontrollably. But like any forms of cancer, early detection is key in successfully treating the disease. Men over 65 years old have higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

The reason why men aren’t screened like how women get their annual pap smear test is because a PSA test can give confusing results. About 75% or three in every four men who get a positive PSA test result are not found to have cancer when they go for a follow-up biopsy. And PSA misses the cancer in about 15% of men with prostate cancer. It also cannot show whether a cancer will probably go on to cause harm.

Prostate cancer often grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. But men with aggressive tumours need treatment to stop it spreading.

Shea Connell, who led the research, at the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said a bigger trial was now planned. He hopes the urine test could become available for doctors to use within three years - as an add-on to PSA testing. (June 27, 2019)

 

Romy Sia
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