Prostate Cancer Awareness Month featured on Hattiesburg American News

For Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Hattiesburg American News spoke with our client Hattiesburg Clinic Urology about the 4Kscore, a revolutionary test that predicts a man’s risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. The test assists physicians, urologists, and nurse practitioners in making better-informed patient care decisions. Please read the full article below and see the original post on Hattiesburg American News.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Approximately 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2016, specifically, the ACS estimates 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, with more than 26,000 of those resulting in death.

It is statistics like these that drive health care providers like Anne Claire Dugas, CNP, to be proactive when treating patients who could be at risk for the disease. Dugas treats a variety of urological conditions, including prostate cancer, in her role as a certified nurse practitioner at Hattiesburg Clinic Urology.

She said there are new adjunctive testing options their practice uses to determine a patient’s risk for prostate cancer. One of these tests is called the 4Kscore.

“This test is considered one of the most accurate blood tests for predicting aggressive prostate cancer, allowing for better-informed patient care decisions. It helps us to identify men most likely to benefit from prostate biopsy,” said Dugas. “It is a simple blood test, which uses a combination of factors, along with information about the patient, in order to predict the probability of cancer spreading to other parts of the body within 20 years. It helps to reassure patients on prostate biopsy decisions.”

The 4Kscore can be used prior to biopsy or after a negative biopsy. Another test, ConfirmMDx®, is specifically for patients who have received a previous negative biopsy within the last 24 months.

“Sometimes patients have a negative biopsy but continue having concerning symptoms, such as a prostate nodule or continually elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen). This brings us to the question of when and if another biopsy is appropriate,” Dugas said. “This test can accurately identify two-thirds of men where prostate cancer would be detected in a repeat biopsy. By this same token, it can identify two-thirds of men with no evidence of prostate cancer in a repeat biopsy, allowing them to avoid an unnecessary repeat prostate biopsy.”

She explained, “We are trying to reduce the rate of unnecessary biopsy, and these new tests help us in that area, to try and detect patients with accelerated risk factors.”

Dugas said an important thing to note regarding both these tests is that nothing is 100 percent effective and not every patient will qualify for them. She also pointed out that just because a patient’s PSA is elevated, doesn’t mean a biopsy would even be considered. She said there could be a number of reasons for that.

For those who are diagnosed with the disease, Dugas said there are treatment options available that don’t require surgery.

“Brachytherapy is our typical approach for most patients with prostate cancer, and it is something that many of the doctors at Hattiesburg Clinic Urology use frequently for their patients,” said Dugas.

Brachytherapy is a less invasive alternative to prostate cancer surgery. It is a procedure in which low dose radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate gland. The seeds slowly release radiation to destroy the cancer.

Some benefits of brachytherapy compared to surgery include a shorter recovery time; no catheterization; less erectile dysfunction; and minimal bleeding.

“The primary advantage of this procedure is that it delivers radiation to a localized area, which minimizes the exposure of radiation to surrounding tissues,” said Dugas.

Hattiesburg Clinic Urology’s board-certified providers offer urological services with a combined approach of clinical experience, technology and accessibility. Services include lithotripsy, laser therapies, laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery and more. The practice is located at Hattiesburg Clinic’s main campus, 415 S. 28th Ave., on the first floor.

See original article on Hattiesburg American News