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Is there a blood test for prostate cancer yet?
what with the more well known alternative, I'd prefer to have blood drawn should the need ever arise...
asked in health

duffield1 answers:

No - there is a blood test that screens for prostate specific antigents, which are one indicator of prostate, but this is not a sufficiently accurate test, so you get a digital examination (meaning with a finger, rather than as an alternative to an analogue one) as well.

Supplement from 01/30/2009 09:42am:

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seacommander answers:

As duffield says the PSA test is not 100% diagnostic. Digital Rectal Examanination (DRE) will detect an enlarged and uneven shaped prostate, but this too is not diagnostic since non-malignant enlargement of the prostate is common. The only truly diagnostic test is a biopsy. This is involves taking a number of small cores out of the prostate with a fine needle passed through the wall of the rectum under ultrasound guidance - Trans-Rectal Ultrasound Guided Biopsy (TRUS). This is performed under local or general anaesthesia. You may find this site useful.


If cancer is diagnosed the PSA test can be useful indicator of progression.

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