"The Prostate Monologues" by sportswriter Jack McCallum tried to blow the cover off the all-too-often hushed-up topic of prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment, and life post-treatment.
And while it didn't get turned into a celeb-packed play like Wendy Wasserstein's "The Vagina Monologues," it does shed much-needed light on the subject through one man's experience.
The good news: These days, a new light is being shined on prostate cancer diagnosis — one that might make over 40 percent of prostate biopsies unnecessary.
The IsoPSA blood test, developed by the Cleveland Clinic, is designed to discriminate between high-grade prostate cancer (with a Gleason score of above 7) and low-grade/benign disease (Gleason score of 6 or lower).
Why is this test more accurate than the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, which has fallen out of favor?
Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Eric Klein, who led the research team that presented the paper "Prospective Validation of the IsoPSA Assay for Detection of High Grade Prostate Cancer" at the recent annual meeting of the American Urological Association, explains: "To be clinically useful, a biomarker must be both tissue-specific and cancer-specific. While PSA is prostate-specific, it is not specific for prostate cancer, leading to diagnostic inaccuracy and too many unneeded biopsies. IsoPSA fulfills both the tissue- and cancer-specificity needed for a useful biomarker."
Clearly this could be a game changer.
So stay tuned for more testing and Food and Drug Administration approvals. Then, Klein says, perhaps the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation may switch from a "No PSA" test to a "Yes ISO" test.
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