Cancer screenings are an evidently undesirable appointment to book, notwithstanding the underlying concern that you may, in fact, receive some undesirable news. Most of us prefer to live our day-to-day lives not thinking about the potential of cancer growing inside our prostate.
As a medical practitioner of over 20+ years, my primary aim is to provide encouragement to seek regular screenings. While it might not be the most desirable activity, it’s vitally important to both your quality of life and longevity.
I did an episode on the podcast recently where I not only discussed the importance and necessity of prostate cancer screenings but the many types available to deploy. If you’re eager to learn what test might be the most superior, be sure to check it out.
Let’s get right into it.
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What is the PSA Test?
A controversial test by all accounts, the PSA test was introduced in the early 1980s at a time when not much was known about prostate cancer. the typical outcome prior to the PSA test was late detection, thus resulting in a fatality or a reduction in the patient’s quality of life.
Once introduced, the PSA test was able to mitigate these results, improving the overall detection rate of prostate cancer in men…
With that said, the prostate-specific antigen test is a prostate cancer screening blood test aiming to measure the protein level in the blood. High PSA levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
The PSA Problem…
Whilst this primary screening test does boast efficacy and effectiveness when used appropriately, its ability to be abused, both by urologists and practitioners alike is unmatched.
The result has been an excess in unnecessary biopsies, unjustified treatment to otherwise low-risk prostate cancer patients, and thus, billions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare costs… The uptick in infections as a result of biopsy complications can’t go unnoticed either.
The solution to the PSA problem is not to eliminate it altogether but to monitor its employment on only the most vulnerable of patients, largely categorized by severity and/or age; two precursors of undesirable outcomes.
Importance of Screening for Prostate Cancer
When screening for cancer, the primary intention isn’t to detect subsequently negligible amounts of cancer present. Rather, it’s to detect only the most aggressive, pernicious portions of cancer so as to treat it in a timely fashion.
Like any cancer, early detection is the best prevention, and so too is it the best medicine. As such, cancer screenings, whether for prostate cancer or otherwise, is important because of the information it provides regarding proactivity toward treatment or lack thereof. In short, prostate cancer screenings have the capacity to save a patient’s life IF the most appropriate test is used and at the right time…
Other Prostate Cancer Screening Tests
Before diving into some of the most common and effective screening test alternatives, it’s important to note that it’s imperative to first have a discussion (or several discussions) with your primary urologist regarding every available option.
This conversation may include YOU, the patient, informing the urologist of potential tests you’d like to look into OR the urologist informing you of tests you’ve yet to hear of…
Below are some of the most common and effective prostate cancer screening tests:
The 4K Blood Test
Comparable to a PSA test but far more efficacious, the 4K blood test seeks to derive one singular number that depicts the level of cancer in the blood. Because of the accuracy of the test, the 4K blood test reduces the number of unnecessary biopsy procedures completed on patients that don’t require it.
One problem considering that the 4K Blood Test fails to account for is the mere size of the prostate which can otherwise sway the number higher than what it actually is.
The MDX Test
A simple urine test that too seeks to arrive at a singular number that depicts the level of cancer in the body, the MDX test is unique in that it doesn’t use PSA to measure the level of prostate cancer in the blood.
As a result, many practitioners and urologists believe the MDX Test is superior to the former two screening tests discussed.
Other Notable Tests
Other notable prostate cancer screening tests include but are not limited to the prostate health screening test, the XO DX prostate test, and the PCA3 test… to learn more about these screening tests, be sure to tune in to the full podcast!
SPONSORED BY: ExoDx™ Prostate Test
The ExoDx™ Prostate Test is the only risk assessment tool available as an At-Home Collection kit so patients can provide a specimen in the comfort and convenience of home.
The ExoDx Prostate test has been included in the NCCN guidelines since 2019 for early detection of prostate cancer and is a simple, no DRE required, urine-based test indicated for men 50+ years of age with an elevated PSA in the “gray zone” of 2-10 ng/mL considering an initial or repeat biopsy.
Click the link below to get your ExoDx Prostate Test today:
To listen to the full episode on Prostate Cancer Screenings on Apple, Spotify, or any other podcast streaming platform, click here!
You can also watch the full episode here on YouTube!
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