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Prostate cancer test may prevent needless surgery

Researchers say that a prostate cancer test, which predicts how aggressive a tumour is, could save men from unnecessary surgical procedures.

Early data presented at the National Cancer Research Institute conference, indicate that a genetic test can tell apart aggressive and slow-growing tumours.

One of the biggest problems in prostate cancer is whether surgery is required or not.  The decision to remove the prostate is based on an examination of a tumour sample under the microscope. The development of this test can end all misunderstanding and save millions of men from unnecessary surgeries. This will result in saving millions every year spent on surgeries to remove tumours and save patients post-surgery costs.

The surgical procedure has significant side-effects such as infertility, difficulty maintaining and keeping an erection and uncontrolled urinating.

Prostate cancer charities reported that successful trials of this new test would be a great advantage for prostate cancer patients.

More on Prostate Cancer

The Prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system where almost all cancers develop in the gland cells which makes the fluid that is added to the semen. This cancer usually occurs in older men. The most common type of prostate cancer  is adenocarcinoma.

The symptoms are usually related to the control of the urine. Some risk factors for prostate cancer are: age, family history, genes, obesity or inflammation of the prostate. Prostate cancer is diagnosed with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, a digital rectum examination (DRE), a Transrectal ultrasound, or a biopsy (removal of cell tissue).

Treatment

Different treatment types are available for patients with prostate cancer:

  • Active observation
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biologic therapy (uses patient’s immune system)
  • Bisphosphonate therapy (drug to reduce bone disease and pain)

New treatments are being tested in clinical trials:

  • Cryosurgery (using instrument to freeze and destroy prostate cancer cells)
  • Proton beam radiation therapy

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