Tags: Prostate Health | prostate health index | PHI

Prostate Health Index: What You Need to Know

By    |   Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016 03:51 PM

If you are concerned about prostate health, the prostate health index (PHI) may be helpful for you.

Prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in American men, is a significant health concern and is detected and managed using a variety of tests.

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According to the Prostate Health Index website, an important first step in understanding prostate health is through the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. An elevated result on a PSA test usually warrants further testing, such as with the PHI test or a biopsy.

The PHI test is a combination of three simple blood tests that results in an overall “PHI score” that can provide further information about what an elevated PSA test result means.

The Prostate Health Index site explains that an elevated PSA test result doesn’t always mean prostate cancer. In fact, it can indicate a number of conditions such as infection, physical trauma, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger of New York Urology Specialists says the prostate health index is a better predictor of cancer than the PSA and can be used instead of the PSA to determine which patients need to have a prostate biopsy.

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An article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, cited by Medical News Today, says that over-diagnosis of prostate cancer is becoming a problem when only the PSA test is used.

Prostate biopsies can cause a lot of anxiety and some discomfort for patients, so it is best to use them only when needed. The Prostate Health Index site says more than 75 percent of prostate biopsies come back negative for prostate cancer, which means that patients could benefit from having better diagnostic information before a biopsy is warranted.

The PHI score is three times more accurate at detecting prostate cancer than the PSA test, according to a study cited by the Prostate Health Index website. A separate 2015 study in the Journal of Urology found that the Prostate Health Index can help to reduce the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies by as much as 30 percent.

Dr. Shteynshlyuger says the PHI score can be used in patients who have reason to believe they may need a PSA test, have already had an elevated PSA test result, or those who have urinary symptoms of prostate cancer.

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If you are concerned about prostate health, the prostate health index (PHI) may be helpful for you.
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Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016 03:51 PM
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