Elevated PSA? Prostate biopsy suggested? Recently diagnosed with prostate cancer? Seek an alternative approach at QCU. Find out what your genetics say...Come in and let's find out.
Prostate cancer, like many other cancers, is a result of abnormal cell growth that forms a mass of tissue called a tumor.
Once started, cancer can spread – or metastasize – as cells break away from the mass and move through the body through blood vessels or the lymphatic system. Men with prostate cancer do not necessarily have symptoms. That is why it is important to have an annual prostate cancer screening as part of your routine health care.
When symptoms occur, the most common are:
- Difficult urination
- Inability to urinate
- Weak urine stream
- Frequent urination
- Burning feeling or pain during urination
- Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
These symptoms can also be caused by a variety of other conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your urologist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, but it is most common among men age 65 and older. It is also more likely to occur in men who have a family history of prostate cancer, which indicates that genetic factors play some part. Prostate cancer is found more often in African-American men than in white men, and is more likely to occur in white men than in men of Asian or Hispanic descent. The reasons for this are unknown.
Men should be checked for prostate cancer annually beginning at age 50. African-Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening earlier, around age 40.
Because prostate cancer often has no symptoms, routine screening is the key to early detection and treatment. Cancer found while the tumor is still small and localized has a much better chance of being treated successfully. The first approach is usually a digital rectal exam, which allows your doctor to check for lumps or hardened areas in the prostate. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test can also be used to detect high levels of PSA, which indicates a prostate problem. If any abnormality is found, your doctor will probably suggest additional tests to determine whether the problem is prostate cancer or some other less serious condition. If other causes are ruled out, the doctor will perform a biopsy, which is the only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer. During the biopsy, the doctor removes a small amount of tissue, which is then examined for the presence of cancer cells.
There are no genetic tests that can be performed prior to a biopsy or even after a biopsy to assess aggression of cancer. If cancer has been missed on a negative biopsy and also to help determine if aggressive treatment is necessary.
- SelectMDX, etc
- Confirm MDX
- Oncotype DX
Prostate cancer is described by grade and by stage. The grade, based on the appearance of the tumor cells, predicts how fast the tumor will grow and spread. Stage refers to the extent of the disease, or how much it has spread. Imaging tests such as a bone scan, CT scan or MRI are usually used to show whether or not the cancer has spread (metastasized). Many treatment options are available, and you and your doctor will decide on a treatment plan based on factors such as your age, type of tumor, stage of the cancer, your symptoms and your basic state of health. Your physician may also suggest that you have genomic testing done on the biopsy specimen to help determine your risk and the best course of treatment.
Usual treatments include:
- Active Surveillance: In low risk prostate cancer, many men do not require aggressive treatment and can be closely observed with periodic examination and blood tests (PSA).
- Surgical Therapy: Radical Prostatectomy-involves the complete removal of the prostate in an effort to give men the best chance for long term survival. It can be done conventionally or robotically. Your physician will discuss with you the pros and cons of each approach.
- Prostate Cryoablation: A less invasive option for freezing the prostate gland and killing the tumor in a single session. It usually does not involve hospitalization and provides result comparable to radiation.
- Radiation Therapy: This may be recommended instead of surgery for early-stage cancer or after radical prostatectomy to destroy any remaining cancerous cells. The usual method is an external beam of radiation directed at the cancerous area. Another option is internal radiation, or brachytherapy, in which radioactive “seeds” are implanted directly into the prostate. Each has its own unique effects which your doctor will discuss with you.
- Select Mdx:
Helps identify patients at increased risk for aggressive disease, thereby aiding in the selection of men for prostate biopsy.
SelectMDx provides the likelihood of detecting prostate cancer upon biopsy, and the probability for high-grade versus low-grade disease, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.89 (95% CI: 0.86-0.92).
High Risk men may benefit from prostate biopsy and early detection:
Low Risk men may avoid unnecessary invasive procedures with routine follow up and screening:
SelectMDx for Prostate Cancer is a reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) assay performed on post-DRE (digital rectal examination), first-void urine specimens from patients with clinical risk factors for prostate cancer, who are being considered for biopsy. The test measures the mRNA levels of the DLX1 and HOXC6 biomarkers, using KLK3 expression as internal reference, to aid in patient selection for prostate biopsy. Higher expression levels of DLX1 and HOXC6 mRNA are associated with an increased probability for high-grade (Gleason score (GS) ≥ 7) prostate cancer.
The ConfirmMDx for Prostate Cancer testing solution addresses false-negative biopsy concerns, helping urologists:
- “Rule-out” otherwise cancer-free men from undergoing unnecessary repeat biopsies and screening procedures, helping to reduce complications, patient anxiety and excessive healthcare expenses associated with these procedures.
- “Rule-in” high-risk men with a previous negative biopsy result who may be harboring undetected cancer (false-negative biopsy result) and therefore may benefit from a repeat biopsy and potentially treatment.
For men with an initial negative biopsy, independently published clinical studies have shown that the ConfirmMDx test is the most significant, independent predictor of patient outcome relative to other available clinical factors such as age, PSA and DRE results.(1,2)
- Oncotype Dx:
What is the Oncotype DX® Genomic Prostate Score?The Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score was developed to help men with newly diagnosed, early-stage prostate cancer select the right treatment for their cancer. Since every man is different and every cancer is unique, it is important to find out the precise risk level of your particular cancer so that you and your doctor can make the best decision about your course of care.CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
The Prolaris Test
Move Forward with Confidence
Prolaris is a measure of how fast the cells in your tumor are dividing. Since you have had a biopsy, that tissue sample can be used to determine your Prolaris Score. Studies have shown that Prolaris provides an accurate assessment of cancer aggressiveness.5,6 And, because every individual’s prostate cancer is different, the result of your Prolaris test is unique to you.
What are some of the risk factors for prostate cancer? Risk is greatest in men over age 50, and in those with a family history of prostate cancer. African-American men also have a higher risk of developing this disease. There is also some evidence that obesity and/or a diet high in fat can increase risk.
Does prostatitis or enlarged prostate lead to cancer? No. Patients with prostatitis or enlarged prostate (BPH) are not at higher risk for prostate cancer. However, early symptoms of BPH are similar to those of prostate cancer and should be evaluated promptly so that cancer can be ruled out.
Can prostate cancer be diagnosed before symptoms appear? Yes. In fact, most prostate cancers are diagnosed as a result of routine health screenings, which include a digital rectal exam and PSA test. Today, 90% of prostate cancers are detected early due to these tests.
Are there any steps I can take to help prevent prostate cancer? Little can be done to prevent prostate cancer, but there are some steps that may promote prostate health in general:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your intake of fat, especially animal fat
- Maintain a moderate level of exercise and physical activity
- Regular ejaculation also appears to contribute to prostate health