How Accurate is the PSA at Detecting Prostate Cancer, and Are There Other Options?

Prostate-specific-antigen test zeroes in on the blood composition of the relevant antigen. Its a protein produced by a gland in the bladder. More than 4 ng/mL of PSAs in the blood stream indicates a positive diagnosis of prostate cancer. PSAs are adenocarcinoma markers. Which is glandular cell cancer. Complications observed during treatment include bleeding, infection, and urination problems.

Aside from cancers of the skin, prostate cancer is the leading type of cancer for men in the United States. Prostate cancers most frequently start development in the gland cells of the prostate, known scientifically as prostate adenocarcinoma.

Prostate adenocarcinoma grows characteristically slowly and is frequently an underlying cause of death for older men who die of alternative causes.

Prostate Victims Die Undiagnosed – Mostly


Prostate cancer can be devastating because of its blind development in men who are not aware they fall victim to this disease. For this reason, prostate cancer screening has been proposed to identify cases that otherwise go unnoticed and untreated. Though these methods have been proposed, little research has been devoted to assessing the effectiveness and cost-benefit ratio for such measures.

Prostate And The PSA Test

The PSA test is the standard measure of prostate cancer, but is fraught with problems and not always accurate. But German researchers have found a urine test that tracks RNA molecules linked to cancer may offer a better, more accurate way to detect the disease.

Recent Study Suggests Need for New Testing Methods


This study, presented at the European Association of Urology Congress (EAU16) in Munich this week, was conducted by the University of Leipzig and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Medical News Today reports.

“Our work on RNAs [ribonucleic acid] is allowing us to design a completely new kind of prostate cancer test,” said lead researcher Friedemann Horn.
Current biomarker tests for prostate cancer measure levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and PCA3 (prostate cancer gene 3), but are notoriously inaccurate and can either miss many cancers or produce false positives that lead to unnecessarily aggressive treatments.

The German researchers have identified a series of non-coding RNA molecules that could potentially be combined into a single urine test to detect prostate cancer.

Such a test holds promise for offering greater sensitivity and specificity than the current biomarker tests and thus make population screening much more viable.

“Given that our initial results show a high specificity for prostate cancer in urine tests, the prospects are good that we will be able to translate this into a better test for prostate cancer,” Wirth said.

“We have several good candidate biomarkers, however we are aiming to design a test which utilizes a combination of biomarkers. This will give significantly better specificity than existing tests.”

Some organizations such as the American Cancer Society propose rectal examination starting at the age of 50, while the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force rises that age to 75 based off of prevalent risk.


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