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New approach to prostate cancer screening needed
Date:3/7/2014

The UK needs to invest in testing for those men most at risk of prostate cancer rather than follow a cast-the-net-wide approach targeting the whole population, a leading scientist from The University of Manchester - part of Manchester Cancer Research Centre - has argued at an international conference this week.

Men in the UK are currently entitled to PSA blood test for prostate cancer once they reach the age of 50 and will be recommended to have a prostate biopsy if their PSA level is greater than their age-specific threshold. This practice leaves around 50,000 men in the UK having an unnecessary prostate biopsy every year which is painful, can cause bleeding and infection and rarely even death.

Professor Ken Muir, from The University of Manchester, is proposing the UK moves to a risk-based approach in the community a move backed by Tackle Prostate Cancer formerly the Prostate Cancer Support Federation.

The new approach is a computer generated risk assessment, which will be based on an extension of the Canadian Sunnybrook Risk Calculator (SRC) which utilises a combination of indicators including PSA, PSA free to total (both simple blood based tests), urine symptoms, age, family history, ethnicity and physical examination (DRE: Digital Rectal Exam). Men will only be put forward for prostate biopsy if their prostate cancer risk is calculated to be greater than that of the normal male population.
The calculator will also find more high-grade cancers, the ones that kill 10,000 men per annum, earlier so that they are treatable.

Manchester researchers surveyed more than 1,000 men and over 100 GPs about whether they would be happy with a risk-based approach to prostate cancer screening. The findings show over 80% of men expressed strong support and 77% of GPs were supportive.

The researchers now aim to further identify and include more risk markers and personalise the approach by also using predisposing genet
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Contact: Alison Barbuti
alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk
44-016-127-58383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert  

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