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New screening method for prostate cancer

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Novel prostate specific antigen velocity risk count testing may be more effective for physicians to screen men for prostate cancer, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Dr. Stacy Loeb, a urologist at the Joel E. Smilow Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Center at New York University Langone Medical Center, and colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago said a PSA blood test is the current standard screening method to evaluate a man's risk of prostate cancer. It measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, a substance made only in the prostate gland.

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An elevated PSA can indicate the presence of disease. However, PSA can also be elevated with benign prostate enlargement and one high PSA value does not always mean an aggressive prostate cancer is present, Loeb said.

"Risk count could represent a new way to screen for prostate cancer by focusing on men with the greatest risk of harmful prostate cancers," Loeb said in a statement. "The goal of risk count is to help identify the aggressive, clinically significant prostate cancers before advanced symptoms develop, while decreasing the diagnosis of insignificant cancers."

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The new PSAV risk count screening works by monitoring fluctuations in PSA levels over time to analyze a man's risk of prostate cancer, instead of relying on just one PSA test result to assign prostate cancer risk, Loeb said.

The findings were published in the British Journal of Urology International.

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