Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Blood Test Could Save My Ass

From the Stiftung Prostrata, a Swiss trust working on prostate cancer research:

The early detection examination for prostate cancer no longer takes place where it would be expected. A simple blood test in the crook of the arm suffices. Preferably early on. Ask your doctor and gain information on www.prostatakrebs.ch.
A little research around the Interwebs makes me think that this is the new test they're referring to:
A new blood test used in combination with a conventional prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening sharply increases the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis, and could eliminate tens of thousands of unneeded, painful, and costly prostate biopsies annually, according to a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando, Fla., William K. Oh, M.D., and Robert W. Ross, M.D., will report that the six-gene molecular diagnostic test, when combined with a PSA test, accurately detected prostate cancer more than 90 percent of the time. Earlier studies suggest that the conventional PSA test is 60-70 percent accurate in detecting cancer.
My old man died fairly suddenly from prostate cancer several years ago because he never got checked for it. I've been told that even with a family history of the disease that I won't need to start getting checked until I turn 45 but it's definitely a prospect I haven't been relishing. In the meantime I take multi-vitamins high in lycopene and make sure to include plenty of tomatoes in my diet as preventative measures. I realize that if these tests do eventually come up positive that my sweet bunghole could still be in some danger but it's slightly more reassuring to know that I may be able to hold the dreaded jellied finger at bay for a few more years than I had previously thought.


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