This Valentine’s Day, Show Your Loved Ones You Care About Your Health

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that comes with a certain amount of trepidation for most of us. The stress of selecting the right gift can take the fun out of the sentiment. However, we might just have the perfect gift idea for the special person in your life; peace of mind for your prostate health with the 4Kscore Test.

Show Them You Care About Your Health

It is not uncommon for men to forgo preventative healthcare services and to avoid medical treatment altogether. In fact, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that women are 33% more likely than their male counterparts to visit their doctor and 100% more likely to seek preventative services. 1 If your loved one has encouraged you to take a more proactive approach to health screenings, maybe it’s time to listen. This Valentine’s Day, why not show your loved ones just how much you care by getting a 4Kscore Test?

What is the 4Kscore Test?

The 4Kscore is a simple blood test that is performed after an abnormal screening test such as PSA, leveraging cutting edge advances in medical science to determine a patient’s risk for aggressive prostate cancer. The test measures four prostate-specific biomarkers in the blood, which are combined with clinical findings into an algorithm to provide a man’s risk of having aggressive prostate cancer on a scale from <1% to >95%. By getting a simple blood test, you and your special Valentine can rest assured that you are taking an active role in your prostate health.

Who Should get the 4Kscore Test?

The 4Kscore Test is intended for any man after an abnormal PSA or other prostate cancer testing, as a means to provide his risk of high-grade, aggressive prostate cancer before making a biopsy decision. If you have had an abnormal PSA, the 4Kscore can provide the answers you and your loved ones are seeking. Contact your physician, ask the right questions, and get tested at a 4Kscore test laboratory in your area.
Have questions about the 4Kscore test? We encourage you to peruse our website for answers to a wide variety of frequently asked questions, or email us directly at 4kscoreinquiry@bioreference.com. Would you like more tips to help you take an active role in your prostate health? Subscribe to our blog for insights and information throughout the year.

 

1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women more likely than men to visit the doctor, more likely to have annual exams. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/01news/newstudy.htm. (Accessed on January 24, 2017).

What Happens If Your Physician Does Not Offer 4Kscore™ Test?

This time of year, health is a core focus for many of us. With a new year comes new beginnings and the opportunity to refocus our attention on the people and areas of our lives that matter most. If you aim to take a more proactive approach to your health in 2017, we congratulate you.

At BioReference Laboratories and GenPath Diagnostics [OPKO Health Companies], we work year-round to help men and their physicians determine their risk for aggressive prostate cancer. With nearly 3 million men living with prostate cancer in the United States, it is our goal to arm physicians with the information they need to help identify and treat men with aggressive prostate cancer. If you, or a loved one, have reason to believe you are at an elevated risk of having prostate cancer, be it from family history or an elevated PSA, the 4Kscore can help provide the answers you need.

What is the 4Kscore Test?

The 4Kscore is a simple blood that is performed after an abnormal screening test such as PSA, leveraging cutting edge advances in medical science to determine a patient’s risk for aggressive prostate cancer. The test measures 4 prostate-specific kallikreins in the blood: Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA, and Human Kallikrein 2 (hK2), which are combined with clinical findings into an algorithm to provide a patient’s risk of aggressive prostate cancer. This test is more specific than PSA for aggressive prostate cancer, providing an accurate risk of having high grade cancer along with the long-term risk of developing metastasis. Using the 4Kscore will help your doctor make an informed decision about whether or not you need a prostate biopsy. The test can also help your physician find aggressive prostate cancer earlier, or help to avoid an unnecessary prostate biopsy if you are low risk.

What if Your Doctor Does Not Offer the 4Kscore Test?

If you are interested in undergoing a 4Kscore test, we encourage you to first speak to your physician Should you discover that they do not offer the 4Kscore test, encourage your doctor to sign up to offer the 4Kscore test or provide us with their information and we can have on of our dedicated account executives can follow-up to discuss their practice needs. Alternatively, you can use our online search function to find an offering physician in your area who currently offers the 4Kscore test. If our search directory does not return a viable option near you, contact our Customer Service team at 1- 1-833-4Kscore for additional assistance. It is our goal to educate patients and physicians about the benefits of the 4Kscore and to make it readily available from coast to coast.
If you are concerned about the cost of the 4Kscore test, we encourage you to read our recent post on the topic to learn about insurance coverage. Also learn about the self-pay and payment plan options we offer to patients who do not have health insurance or for those who choose not to submit a claim to their insurance company. Finally, download our patient brochure to learn what you need to know about the 4Kscore test or download our PDF with questions to ask your doctor about your prostate health during your next visit.

Home for the Holidays: Family History and Prostate Cancer Risk

For many of us, the holidays are a time to travel home and spend with family and friends. During these joyous occasions, it’s important to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. As you sit down with relatives and share memories, this is also an opportunity to ask questions and have meaningful conversations about your health. Though family health history is a topic that doesn’t always come up, there is no better time to ask questions and learn about your genealogy than when you are gathered together. Knowing your family history can help you understand your risk of developing a wide range of health problems, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer, including cancer of the prostate.

Family Health History and Prostate Cancer

Many studies have demonstrated a genetic contribution to prostate cancer risk. Members of families with the following characteristics may especially want to consider genetic consultation:

  • Having multiple first-degree relatives with a prostate cancer diagnosis
  • Early-onset prostate cancer (age ≤55 years)
  • Those with a family history of prostate cancer along with other types of cancers (e.g., breast, ovarian, pancreatic). [1]

Know Your Family Health History

Research tells us that one’s genetic predisposition for developing cancer reaches beyond cancer of the prostate. In fact, inherited genetic mutations are believed to contribute to 5 to 10 percent of all cancers. [2] This is why it’s important to take the time to discuss family health history when your loved ones are together. Taking a proactive approach can lead to early detection of disease, which can saves lives. We encourage you to ask questions this holiday season – Learn about your family medical history and do your part to educate your relatives about instances of cancer and other disease in your lineage.

4Kscore Test: Simple Prostate Cancer Blood Test

If you or a loved have a family health history of prostate cancer, or other types of cancer, it is important to monitor your health. The 4Kscore checks four prostate-specific biomarkers and clinical information to predict a man’s risk of aggressive prostate cancer. This simple blood test is performed after an abnormal PSA, and can help you and your loved ones specifically determine the risk of aggressive prostate cancer prior to making a prostate biopsy decision. Do your part this holiday season to have the discussion and encourage those you hold dear to take an active role in monitoring their health.

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  • National Cancer Institute. Genetics of Prostate Cancer (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. Available https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/hp/prostate-genetics-pdq. (Accessed December 8, 2016).
  • National Cancer Institute. Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes. Available https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics/genetic-testing-fact-sheet. (Accessed December 8, 2016).

This Season, Give the Gift of Information

With so much to consider this time of year, from holiday shopping to social engagements, it’s easy to lose focus of our health. What if you could give a thoughtful gift this year, that shifts focus to your health and that of your loved ones? Rather than getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday commercialism, why not give the men you love peace of mind for their prostate health with information about the 4Kscore.

Peace of Mind for Prostate Health

Prostate cancer risk factors impact us all. Research tells us that 1 in every 7 men will develop some form of prostate cancer in their lifetime. Even if you are not at risk of prostate cancer, chances are someone you love is. This is why we encourage you to share information about the 4Kscore test this season. Whether you choose to have a conversation with your physician about prostate cancer yourself, or you encourage a loved one to do so, you will be giving a gift that doesn’t expire – knowledge about prostate cancer risk and test options.

How Does the 4Kscore Test Work?

If you, or a loved one, have been concerned with prostate health, chances are you are familiar with the PSA test. Unlike the 4Kscore, PSA tests do not clearly differentiate between aggressive prostate cancer and less serious health conditions. Because of this, men with high PSA results may be subjected to unnecessary medical procedures.

The 4Kscore is a follow up test after an abnormal PSA result, and is more specific for aggressive prostate cancer. The 4Kscore combines the values of four prostate-specific kallikreins in the blood (Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA, and Human Kallikrein 2 (hK2)), with age, digital rectal exam results and prior biopsy history to arrive at a personal risk score for each patient. The resulting 4Kscore predicts a patient’s risk of high grade prostate cancer on a scale from <1% to >95%, and the long-term risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer. The 4Kscore has the potential to dramatically increase the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis, and provide men with peace of mind for their prostate health.

Give a Gift that Shows You Care About His Health

If a loved one has an abnormal PSA, the 4Kscore can provide them with peace of mind for their prostate health. This season, give your loved ones the gift of information about their prostate cancer risk and the 4Kscore test. Encourage them to contact their physician, ask the right questions, and get tested at a 4Kscore test laboratory.

Would you like more tips and information on prostate health? Subscribe to our blog for insights and information on the risk factors, diagnosis and prevention of prostate cancer.

The Importance of Staying Fit During the Holidays

For many, the holiday season symbolizes a time to give thanks, spend time with family, and to reflect on the past year. The winter months are also full of indulgence and celebration. While we all try our best to stay on track during the holidays, it is not uncommon to pick-up unhealthy habits while allowing some of our healthier habits to momentarily take a backseat.

Holiday Weight Gain

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, holiday weight gain is an issue in America and abroad. It found that the American participants experienced a 0.2% increase in weight over the Thanksgiving holiday followed by a 0.4% increase over Christmas.  Our German counterparts experienced an increase in body weight by 0.6% over Christmas and an incremental 0.2% over Easter. Finally, Japanese participants saw a 0.5% increase in body weight over Christmas and 0.3% boost over Golden Week, a period which includes four national holidays.[1]

It’s Not Just About the Scale

The ramifications of over indulging and allowing your fitness routine to slip during the holidays can go far beyond a few pounds on the scale or an extra notch on your belt. There are a myriad of health risks associated with sudden weight gain. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, being overweight can put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancer and more.[2]

Physical Activity May Reduce Cancer Risk

The list of benefits of physical activity goes on and on; helping to maintain a healthy weight, producing natural endorphins, fighting heart disease and more. To add to those benefits, research findings have reported a link between regular physical activity and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers.[3] A study completed by a team of researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington, found that physically fit men, in their midlife, have a reduced risk level of dying of cancer-related deaths as they age.[4] Medical research not only tells us that exercise can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in men, but that it may also help to keep it at bay. Another study found that regular vigorous physical activity may help to slow the progression of prostate cancer in men age 65 and up.[5]

Battle the Bulge this Holiday Season

Rather than simply allowing yourself to gain a few extra pounds this holiday season, get moving! Make the commitment now to stick to your workout and/or activity routine. Hit the gym a little harder the day before and the day after a major holiday splurge and consider skipping the occasional sweet or cocktail – or opt for healthier food options. By taking a few measures now, you will be doing yourself and your body a lot of favors.

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Holiday weight gain impacts people worldwide. What are you doing to avoid it in 2016? #BattleTheBulge Click to tweet

A recent study revealed that Americans gain an average of 0.2% body weight over Thanksgiving & 0.4% over Christmas. Don’t be a statistic! Click to tweet

  • New England Journal of Medicine. Weight Gain over the Holidays in Three Countries. Available at https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1602012. (Accessed November 15, 2016).
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Health Risks of Being Overweight. Available at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/health_risks_being_overweight/Pages/health-risks-being-overweight.aspx. (Accessed November 16, 2016).
  • National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#q8. (Accessed December 1, 2016)
  • JAMA Oncology. Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Incident Cancer, and Survival After Cancer in Men. Available at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2203829 (Accessed December 1, 2016)
  • National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#r9. (Accessed December 1, 2016)

The Fight Against Prostate Cancer: What Men Need to Know

New York, NY – Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, and it is estimated that nearly three million men are living with the disease in the United States. Thankfully, many prostate cancers can be caught early on and either successfully treated or diagnosed as indolent (non-aggressive).

Early detection of prostate cancer begins with screening the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) to assess the health of the prostate. All men should get a PSA test, and know their PSA number and what it means. If a PSA test result is high, often times a doctor may recommend a biopsy. However, because the PSA test cannot distinguish between aggressive prostate cancer and other less serious conditions, many men with a high PSA may be subjected to unnecessary prostate biopsies.

The 4Kscore is a simple blood test that bridges the gap between PSA and biopsy, and can help reduce the need for unnecessary biopsies. The 4Kscore combines four prostate-specific proteins results, including PSA, with clinical information in an algorithm that calculates the man’s percent risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer. In some cases, the 4Kscore will show that the patient is at low risk of aggressive disease and does not need a biopsy. In other cases, the 4Kscore will indicate if the patient is at high risk of aggressive disease and provide additional information that can be used in the shared decision between a patient and his physician about whether to proceed with a biopsy.

The 4Kscore is available at BioReference Laboratories and GenPath Diagnostics, OPKO Health Companies, and is utilized by primary care physicians and urologists across the country.

For more information, visit 4Kscore.com.

BioReference Laboratories

BioReference Laboratories, an OPKO Health company, is the third largest full service clinical laboratory in the U.S. providing testing and related services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities, employers, governmental units and correctional institutions. Our expert division, GenPath Diagnostics, specializes in cancer diagnostics offering a comprehensive cancer patient workup in one laboratory. From special coagulation testing to complex genomic testing for tumor sequencing and hereditary cancer syndromes, the full spectrum of a cancer patient work-up is covered.

 

Elevated PSA – What’s Next?

If you, or a loved one, have received news of an elevated PSA score, you might be feeling a bit scared, intimidated, or lost at what to do next. However we are happy to let you know that an elevated PSA score is not always indicative of a high-risk prostate cancer diagnosis. Let’s take a closer look at the PSA score and what it really tells us.

What is a PSA Score?

A PSA score is the result of a blood screen that tests for Prostate-Specific Antigens (PSA) in the bloodstream. While elevated PSA levels can indicate a higher risk level of developing prostate cancer, and has helped many men find prostate cancer early enough to treat, it poorly differentiates between prostate cancer and other less serious health conditions. In many cases, an elevated PSA score is not indicative of the presence of prostate cancer.
In fact, PSA testing alone can lead to false positives which have been found to result in many unnecessary biopsies. Biopsies which can lead to the discovery of non-life threatening cancers followed, in some cases, by treatments that can result in side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Now that’s scary!

Know Your 4Kscore®

Modern medicine has advanced far beyond using a simple PSA test by itself. Today the 4Kscore is revolutionizing the way urologists approach prostate cancer diagnosis by being more specific for aggressive prostate cancer. The 4Kscore is the result of research conducted by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on over 10,000 patients. The test provides a percentage risk score, from <1% to >95%, of a man’s likelihood of having aggressive prostate cancer in men with a high PSA result or abnormal digital rectal exam. To arrive at the 4Kscore, a blood sample is tested for four prostate-specific kallikreins in the blood: Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA, and Human Kallikrein 2 (hK2). The results are then combined in an algorithm with patient age, prostate biopsy history and an optional digital rectal exam to arrive at the 4Kscore.
The 4Kscore Test ultimately helps improve the decision making process for both physicians and their patients. Test results can help avoid unnecessary and painful biopsies while more effectively identifying when a man is at an elevated risk of having aggressive prostate cancer.

Don’t Be Scared

If you, or a loved one, in fact have an elevated PSA score, don’t be scared. Instead, ask your doctor about the 4Kscore. By undergoing this simple blood test, you can determine your risk level with a much higher degree of accuracy. Ready to know your score? Contact your physician or find a laboratory in your area.
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