A recent study from the University of Michigan published in the journal Science Translational Medicine suggests that the diagnosis of prostate cancer may be improved by including a urine test to the traditional blood test commonly known as a PSA. Currently, if the PSA is elevated additional tests including ultrasound guided biopsy are used to diagnose prostate cancer. Unfortunately, the PSA can be elevated for other reasons besides prostate cancer (like infection) and less than half of men who have a biopsy are found to have prostate cancer so the doctors at U of M used a urine test which looked for a genetic mutation and another marker called PSA3 to see if they could more accurately predict which men actually had prostate cancer or were at higher risk for a more aggressive type of prostate cancer.
The researchers found that urine test allowed them to more precisely identify men at greater risk of prostate cancer who then might benefit from a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. The study was done on mostly white males so additional study is needed to see if the results are the same in men of other races.
As the baby boomer generation ages the number of males diagnosed with prostate will increase. Patients are encouraged to talk to their health care providers about PSA testing and prostate examinations to screen for prostate cancer.
If you have a concern about a possible delay in diagnosis or treatment of prostate cancer, contact McKeen & Associates, P.C. and we will be happy to discuss the situation with you and advise you on your legal rights.