Prostate cancer is a health issue we can no longer avoid. It comes as a shocker to anyone when they discover that they have cancer. However, a landmark study of the 4Kscore® test carried out by Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) seems to have something better to offer. The 4Kscore test aimed at detecting aggressive prostate cancer. From the study, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening was found to reduce prostate cancer deaths.
The study enrolled 11,506 healthy men between the ages of 45 and 73 who had no previous PSA testing. A blood sample collected from each of them was cryopreserved and were followed through December 2014 when the blood samples were tested. The study identified 317 deaths from prostate cancer while 1,223 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and another 3,028 controls.
The 4Kscore is a blood test that accurately identifies risk for aggressive prostate cancer
There have been hundreds of deaths from prostate cancer, which has become one of the biggest killers of men over 60. Apparently, a majority of those diagnosed with it do not show any physical symptoms. However, these days, a blood test is all one needs for the diagnoses and it is done through prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Nonetheless, some health professionals opt for a digital rectal exam.
The 4Kscore test is based on over a decade of research. It outlines the blood plasma levels of four different prostate-derived kallikrein proteins commonly known as Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA and hK2. The test also adds new information to the patient-physician shared decision. All along, it has reflected reliability in decision making regarding when to perform a prostate biopsy.
Screening for prostate cancer is controversial
The Cancer Council has all along emphasized on the need for developing guidelines for PSA testing. On the other hand, many cancers require annual or bi-annual screening measures. However, choosing a treatment path is reliant on a number of factors. For example, the potential long-term side effects are to be put into consideration as well as the influence of radiation and surgery on quality of life.
All said and done, it is important to understand the consequences of each treatment. The good thing is that prostate cancer is not as aggressive as other cancers in the early stages.