Tuesday, September 29, 2015

3 'Must Have' Prior-to-Biopsy Prostate Tests

Your PSA is rising! You’ve also been getting up at night, way too often, to pee. You decide to see your doctor. A DRE is performed, and although your doctor feels your prostate is a bit enlarged, results are inconclusive. Your doctor suggests a prostate biopsy. But wait, you’ve heard they can be dangerous. Pain, fever, bleeding, infection, and urinary problems are just a few of the possible side effects. What should you do?

This year there will be approximately 1,000,000 effectively blind prostate biopsies in the U.S. Unfortunately around three quarters of these, approximately 750,000, will have negative results. And most likely around 25% to 35% of these will be because the doctor’s needles simply missed the cancer. If you are one who has experienced a negative biopsy, you know it is of little service. In fact it may be harmful. The biopsy targeting process is so inaccurate it may give you false information about being cancer free. It could have simply missed the cancer. So if you have a negative biopsy, how will you know what’s real? Then there is the $3,000 to $6,000 in biopsy medical costs without insurance, and time lost to recovery.

What if there was a better way to feel secure about your results. Recently developed tests may provide the answer. Using the PHI or 4Score and ONCOblot Tests are one way to assure a biopsy is necessary, and may make it more effective. In my opinion, no prostate biopsy should be performed without these tests.

The first test to consider is called the Prostate Health Index, or PHI test in the U.S., and in Europe where it was developed it’s called the Pro-PSA. This blood test combines three markers: PSA, Percent Free (or Free PSA), and a precursor form of PSA called -2proPSA (also termed Pro-PSA or p2PSA). As a precursor to PSA, there is evidence that Pro-PSA is 2.5 to 3 times better connected to prostate cancer than say PSA. Results of these three markers are then run through a sophisticated algorithm to determine the probability prostate cancer exists. Research has shown the PHI test to be ‘Three Times Better’ at predicting prostate cancer than standard PSA tests for men in the 4.0 ng/ml to 10.0 ng/ml range. Test results are provided in PHI ranges with the higher scores more indicative of cancer. Scores from 0 to 24.0 suggest an 11% possibility of cancer where highest scores greater than 55 have a 52.1% of cancer. Since the PHI test has so out-performed the previous combination results of PSA and Percent Free, where used, it has greatly reduced unnecessary biopsies while better detecting more aggressive prostate cancer.

The second prostate cancer test recently coming to the market is the 4KScore Test. This test provides a much better look at the possibility of having Aggressive Prostate Cancer, claiming 94% accuracy in this area. Certainly an important consideration to determine if a biopsy could be necessary. Based on 10 years of research by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the test takes into account the patient’s age, any previously negative biopsies, if there are any nodules discovered during the DRE, total PSA, free PSA, intact PSA, and measures the amount of hK2 protein in the blood. The protein hK2, also called human kallikrein-related peptide, is made largely in the prostate and responsible for cleavage of pPSA to mature PSA. Since PSA and hK2 express differently, they are considered independent markers. As a general test to determine if one has prostate cancer the original PSA test had an accuracy rate of roughly 55%, that was improved to 65% with the Free/Total PSA test. Now the PHI test results have improved prostate blood test accuracy to better than 75%.

Should you experience a high likelihood of cancer from either, or both, the PHI or the 4KScore Tests, the next step is the ONCOblot Test.

This test detects cancers in their earliest forms, often before symptoms appear. It can find cancers with as few as 2 million cells (about the tip of a pin in size), unlike current scans that need over 4.5 trillion cells to be seen. Imagine finding cancer at its earliest stages when abundant treatment options are still available and effective. This test uses the ENOX2 protein as a marker, and by determining its molecular weight and isoelectric point it can identify not only the type of cancer but also its organ site. With the ONCOblot test nearly all major forms of cancers are screened with a single blood draw including: Prostate, Bladder, Breast, Cervical, Colorectal, Endometrial, Esophageal, Gastric, Hepatocellular, Kidney, Leukemia, Non-Small cell, Lung Small cell, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, Multiple Myeloma, Myeloma, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Sarcoma,  Squamous Cell, Thyroid, Follicular, Uterine, Papillary, Testicular Germ Cell.

Yes, it is possible to have multiple cancers developing in your body at the same time.

The ONCOblot test reports 99.3% reliability for determining cancer(s) with no false positives, and 96% accuracy in determining the type of and organ site of the cancer. It has been called, “the most sensitive blood test for cancer available today”. Unfortunately it can’t determine the stage of the cancer, the amount of the cancer load, or any spread of the cancer. It just tells you if you have cancer, or not. Yet when considering whether to have a prostate biopsy, determining if you have actually have prostate cancer beforehand can be extremely valuable, even life saving knowledge. The ONCOblot test is approved by the FDA as a ‘Laboratory Developed Test’, but is not yet covered by insurance, as it’s too new. It was first made available to the public in January 2013. Yes, it’s expensive. It currently costs $850 for the lab work. You can also add to this your blood draw, and doctor fees. It’s not a quick test. Once you have sent in the blood draw, it takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks to obtain the results. For more information contact ONCOblot Labs at: 972-510-7773 or email your questions to: info@oncoblotlabs.com.

Together these 3 pre-biopsy tests paint a comprehensive picture of your prostate’s health. Ask your doctor to research the ONCOblot test. Have your doctor put in a request for Medicare approval. Of course, if you’re like the tens of thousands of men who just can’t wait any longer for the frozen wheels of government to turn, have your doctor do the blood draw, and ship the sample to ONCOblot for evaluation. Though it will cost you now, you could end up saving considerable time, money, resources, and quality of life in the long run.

One final note: Should all these three tests come out positive for cancer, then it’s time to consider a prostate biopsy. Again, you will want to handle the biopsy in the most professional and accurate manner possible. At present time, this is accomplished by using the Fusion Biopsy combining both MRI and Ultrasound to provide the most accurate core sampling placement possible. Because if a blind biopsy misses the area where cancer is located it’s really like having no biopsy at all, oh, except for the costs, health risks, and aggravation.

And if you want another reason to do these tests pre-biopsy, in addition to saving you an unnecessary biopsy, over the year they will save our Country $1.5 Billion to $2 Billion in unnecessary medical costs.

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