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More Accurate "PROSTATE CANCER" Test can save Unnecessary Biopsies,,

Prostate cancer can effect men over the age of 40 years and is the second commonest cancer among men after lung cancer. Usually it goes undetected till it is advanced and beyond cure. However a lot of awareness has been created about this condition and now men over the age of 40 years can be screened regularly to detect the cancer.

One of the most promising "tumour markers" in medicine was developed over a decade ago to detect prostate cancer and is called "Prostate Specific Antigen" blood test or PSA for short. This test measures protein in the blood produced by the prostate gland and the normal level is between zero to four. Usually levels that are greater then 10 indicate cancer. However there are men in the "gray zone" whose PSA can be between 4 and 10. These men need biopsies to confirm thecancer.

Now a new test, called a "Free PSA" has further improved the diagnostic ability to detect the cancer and save almost 75% of the patients an unnecessary biopsy of the gland. PSA exists in blood as either being bound to protein or some of it floats around freely. This free form of PSA is key to identifying the patient who requires a biopsy.

Jean deKernion-Urologist, at the UCLA School of Medicine says, "A lot of people have a high PSA and don't have cancer. The free PSA helps you discern those people from the people who do have cancer. Free" PSA levels are lower in men with cancer than in those without. The test catches 95 percent of cancers while sparing men without the disease painful, expensive biopsies".

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