A new pilot study concludes that at-home urine tests could make prostate cancer diagnoses shorter, simpler, and possibly even more accurate
Islamabad (Pakistan Point News / Online - 06th December, 2019) A new pilot study concludes that at-home urine tests could make prostate cancer diagnoses shorter, simpler, and possibly even more accurate.The possibility of a home urine test for prostate cancer moves one step closer.Prostate cancer is common, affecting nearly half of males over 50. However, it tends to develop slowly, and in many cases, health professionals do not consider it clinically significantTrusted Source.
In other words, it is not likely to shorten the male's life.This poses a real problem for medical professionals, as it becomes difficult to know who to treat and when. On the one hand, it is important not to begin treatment if someone does not need it, but on the other hand, they must make sure that someone who is likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer receives the best care.Currently, the two most common diagnostic tools are digital rectal exams and blood tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Although PSA is useful, there are issues. The National Cancer Institute provide an exampleTrusted Source:Prostate urine risk testsAs fluid moves from the prostate through the urethra, it carries cancer cells and RNA with it. Once the body has passed this genetic and cellular information out in the urine, scientists can use it to detect clues about the presence of prostate cancer.These tests are called prostate urine risk (PUR) tests, and studiesTrusted Source have demonstrated that they can help predictTrusted Source whether or not prostate cancer will become aggressive.
In earlier studies of PUR tests, before researchers collected a urine sample, they conducted a digital rectal exam. As the authors of the new study explain, during the exam, a doctor will "firmly stroke" one side of the prostate. This encourages cellular and genetic material to move from the prostate to the urine sample.Digital rectal exams are unpopular and require a trip to the doctor's office. Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom wanted to determine whether or not it would be possible to skip this procedure while still yielding accurate PUR results.
Their recent study investigated an at-home version of the PUR test. At-home testing allows participants to take a urine sample at home and mail it to the laboratory. This is ideal, because it means that the person can capture the first urination of the day.A simpler methodology"We found that the urine samples taken at home showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination," explains Dr. Clark, "And feedback from the participants showed that the at-home test was preferable.
"The study authors now believe that the at-home PUR test could make a substantial difference in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Dr. Clark explains that, in the future, it could "revolutionize how those on 'active surveillance' are monitored for disease progression."Currently, these males must visit a clinic once every 6-12 months, where they undergo painful biopsies. This new method would mean that they only need to mail a urine sample to the laboratory."It means that men would not have to undergo a digital rectal examination, so it would be much less stressful and should result in a lot more patients being tested."