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Online tool supports more dialogue on prostate cancer risk
Date:2/4/2008

Toronto (February 4, 2008) A comprehensive, clinical nomogram tool, the Sunnybrook Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator the first to use all known risk factors for prostate cancer is available online to help men determine individual prostate cancer risk in consultation with their primary care physician. A nomogram is a statistical model to determine risk for disease based on risk factors using a table and chart format.

"This tool facilitates proactive dialogue between patients and their primary care physicians about prostate cancer risk, and management and treatment options," says Dr. Robert Nam, lead investigator and urologic oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook. In addition to helping men avoid unnecessary biopsies this nomogram better detects prostate cancer at an earlier more curable stage and helps identify high risk patients who may need to make immediate dietary and lifestyle changes and need repeat biopsies.

Sunnybrook researchers developed and validated the nomogram with 3,108 Canadian men including a subset of 408 volunteers with normal PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels who underwent a prostate biopsy. Of the 3,108 men, 42 per cent were diagnosed with prostate cancer. The nomogram was shown to perform better than conventional screening with PSA and DRE (digital rectal exam) alone, especially for patients with a known normal PSA level. Among the 408 men with a normal PSA, 24 per cent were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Further evaluation of the nomogram is underway with a multi-institutional, cross-Canada study group of another 5,000 men.

At age 70, Colin Grahams PSA level was considered normal (less than or equal to 4.0 ng/ML). When the nomogram was used to assess all his risk factors, Dr. Nam recommended a prostate biopsy. The biopsy diagnosed aggressive prostate cancer and Colin underwent immediate and successful treatment through surgery. "I cant express enough the relief I felt, knowing things were
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Contact: Natalie Chung-Sayers
natalie.chung-sayers@sunnybrook.ca
416-480-4040
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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