Tags: Prostate Health | prostate | cancer | 4Kscore

Prostate Cancer: What You Should Know About the 4Kscore

By    |   Monday, 07 March 2016 05:57 PM

Men who are in danger of developing prostate cancer can now take advantage of an innovative diagnostic test called the 4Kscore.

For some men, getting a prostate biopsy to test for cancer can be frightening. The biopsy itself can be uncomfortable, leading men to avoid the procedure altogether even though it puts their health at risk, says Opko Lab. A blood test called the 4Kscore can help detect aggressive forms of prostate cancer and make the decision to proceed with a biopsy clearer.

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The Cleveland Clinic explains that many physicians use the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to detect prostate cancer, but this test has many limitations. PSA levels in the blood naturally increase as men age and the prostate gland enlarges, so the PSA test can have a high false positive rate when it comes to detecting cancer.

“Overdiagnosis-the identification of cancers that likely pose no harm to a man’s well-being or longevity-is a big problem with the PSA test,” says Dr. Andrew Stephenson at the Cleveland Clinic. As a result, men are sent for unnecessary prostate biopsy.

While some physicians may use the 4Kscore as a supplemental tool with the PSA test, Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger of New York Urology Specialists says the 4Kscore test can replace the PSA entirely for some patients.

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The 4Kscore examines four different substances in the blood called prostate-specific kallikreins and uses a formula to calculate the patient’s risk for aggressive prostate cancer. Opko Lab says that when the test is used according to their guidelines, unnecessary biopsies are reduced by up to 50 percent while still identifying high-risk patients.

Dr. Stephenson of the Cleveland Clinic says that even though the 4Kscore is more expensive than the standard PSA test and is not usually covered by insurance, it reduces unnecessary biopsy and its associated risks of infection and bleeding.

Shteynshlyuger advises men who experience weak urine streams, inability to completely empty the bladder, blood in the urine, or an urgency to urinate frequently to consider a prostate cancer screening test like the 4Kscore after talking through the options with their physician.

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Men who are in danger of developing prostate cancer can now take advantage of an innovative diagnostic test called the 4Kscore.
prostate, cancer, 4Kscore
Monday, 07 March 2016 05:57 PM
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