Prostate Cancer Discovered In Most Of Men Who Test Negative For It

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Forty percent of men with prostate cancer may not even know they have it, according to a new research study by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago. The study revealed the standard office biopsy procedure often isn't enough to properly detect prostate cancer. This new research will be published in an upcoming issue of Urology, a national medical journal.

Researchers used an advanced biopsy technique called stereotactic transperineal prostate biopsy (STPB). This was performed on patients with persistent elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels who previously had at least one negative office biopsy. All patients had received transrectal prostate biopsies (TRPB), administered by a urologist.

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"Men who have negative transrectal biopsies and continue to have elevated PSA levels should consider STPB because 40% will harbor malignancy," says Michelle Braccioforte, director of research and education for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago. "Our level of confidence is greatly enhanced with regards to the presence or absence of cancer, and more specifically, the exact location of the cancer within the prostate."

STPB is performed by taking a median of 40 samples of the prostate through the perineum while the patient is under general anesthesia. Performed as an outpatient procedure, it allows more comprehensive sampling, compared to the transrectal method, which takes fewer samples through the rectum. In addition, by taking more samples during STPB, the exact location of the cancer can be pinpointed.

Between April 2004 and January 2008, 747 patients with high PSA levels were studied. All patients had been tested using TRPB at least once and all results had been negative. All patients received the STPB. Biopsy results identified the presence of cancer in 291 (39%) of the patients.

One in six men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer among men. For those with elevated or rising PSA levels, this is a sign that further testing should be administered to rule out prostate cancer.

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