• New screening method for prostate cancer developed

Electrophoretic Separations

New screening method for prostate cancer developed

Jun 27 2012

A new screening method for prostate cancer has been developed with new tools that offer men options that improve upon current screening methods.

The US Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC) has released a statement of premarket approval (PMA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Beckman Coulter's Prostate Health Index (phi). This represents a promising advance for both patients and physicians, as the debate around effective prostate screening continues.

According to the statement, the new screening method significantly improves upon current methods. It said: "Our hope is that new options like this test will help to mitigate concerns around screening by reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies, cutting back on the over diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, and lowering costs associated with prostate cancer detection."

Prostate cancer has one of the largest mortality rates of all cancers in the UK. In 2009, 40,841 men in the UK were diagnosed with prostate cancer. 10,721 men in the UK died from prostate cancer in 2010. According to Cancer Research UK, 81 per cent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2005-09 survived for five years or more. Even though it is an aggressive disease, it is most successfully treated when it is detected early on, which is why screening methods are essential in reducing mortality rates.

The PCEC in America believes there should be more information available to men about the disease and their options for testing. The organisation currently offer free or low-cost screenings for more than 125,000 men across the US and internationally in the Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.

Since the first PCAW in 1989, the program has helped to screen nearly five million men in the US, and this number continues to grow each year both at home and internationally. The new screening methods may go some way to increasing the amount of tests conducted.

Posted by Fiona Griffiths

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