USPSTF Releases Draft Recommendations for PSA Testing

With the release of a new draft document, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has proposed a change in its stance on the advisability of PSA prostate cancer screening for men ages 55 to 69. The new recommendations are based on evidence that supports some benefit to such screenings for the early detection of aggressive prostate cancer. However, the USPSTF also acknowledges offsetting harms from the invasive testing and treatment that may follow a positive PSA screen.

USPSTF Draft of Updated Recommendation on Prostate Cancer Screening

The USPSTF draft document details proposed revisions to the 2012 recommendations concerning prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings for prostate cancer. These recommendations revise the USPSTF grades assigned to the use of routine PSA-based prostate cancer screening in two age categories:

  1. Men ages 55 to 69 years
  2. Men ages 70 years & older

The previous grade for both age groups was “D,” recommending against such routine screening. The new draft recommendation retains the “D” designation for men 70 and older but revises the grade to “C” for men in the younger category.

Informed Decision-Making by Individual Patients

The USPSTF makes recommendations on the effectiveness of preventative care services such as PSA prostate cancer screening based on evidence of both benefit and harm. For men 55 to 69 years, the proposed grade of “C” indicates a balance between potential benefit from early cancer detection and the possible harmful outcomes that may result from screening. These include:

  • False-positive results leading to additional testing
  • Overdiagnosis & overtreatment
  • Treatment complications

The USPSTF urges clinicians to discuss the advantages and potential risks of PSA screening with their patients, so individuals in the 55 to 69 age category have the information they need to make an informed decision about proceeding with PSA testing.

Limited Potential Benefits from Standard PSA Screening

Although prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, not all prostate cancers are aggressive or likely to metastasize. Some men who have been screened and identified as having cancer showed no symptoms and may not have been aware of the condition if they had not been screened. Autopsies performed on men who died of other causes reveal an incidence of prostate cancer by age group of:

  • 25% for men ages 55 to 69
  • 33% for men ages 70 & over

The USPSTF has found adequate data from random clinical trials that screening may prevent some cases of metastasized cancer deaths: up to three cases per 1000 men (55 to 69 years of age) screened over a 13-year period. The draft recommendation notes that PSA screening is ineffective at distinguishing between aggressive cancers that are likely to metastasize and cancer that either does not progress or progresses so slowly that the patient never experiences symptoms. The proposed recommendation also notes that further research is needed for developing and studying different diagnostic tests and protocols.

False-Positive Cancer Diagnosis & Overdiagnosis

According to the draft recommendation of the USPSTF, the potential benefit of routine PSA screening for men ages 55 to 69 is offset by these severe shortcomings in test interpretation:

  • Conditions like an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) also deliver elevated PSA readings. A false-positive PSA reading puts men at risk for side effects and complications from further diagnostic testing procedures.
  • A positive PSA screening result may lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cancer in men whose prostate cancer would never have become symptomatic while they lived. In such cases, these men would receive no benefit from treatment. The USPSTF draft cites large randomized trials that indicate that 20% to 50% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer through screening may represent overdiagnosis of the condition.1

Harmful Outcomes from Additional Diagnostic Tests & Overtreatment

According to the USPSTF draft document, there is adequate evidence that further diagnostic testing and cancer treatment may result in a moderate chance of harm. Additional testing and biopsy due to false-positive PSA results may include pain, infection, hematospermia (blood in semen or ejaculate), and complications severe enough to require hospitalization. Men undergoing prostate cancer treatment are also subject to unpleasant health and lifestyle side effects including long-term sexual impotence, urinary incontinence, and bowel urgency or bowel incontinence.

USPSTF Grade-Change Considerations

Data from random trials, cohort studies and decision analysis models reviewed by USPSTF support the conclusion that the benefit of PSA-based screening for men ages 55 to 69 depends on the value judgments of individual men. Although PSA screening has the potential for early detection and treatment that may save lives, that potential is balanced by the possibility of overdiagnosis, false-positive indications, and complications of treatment that could affect quality of life.

USPSTF’s recommended grade change to “C” for men in the younger screening age group is an acknowledgment that men should have an opportunity to make informed decisions about PSA screening results and the need for further tests or treatments following a positive result. The draft proposal also provides study information for men with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, including African American men and men with a family history of the disease. The USPSTF supports the role of the clinician in providing updated, evidence-based information and providing all groups with the full picture for making decisions about PSA-based prostate cancer screening.

 

1  Fenton JJ, Weyrich MS, Durbin S, Liu Y, Bang H, Melnikow J. Prostate-Specific Antigen-Based Screening for Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Evidence Synthesis No. 154. AHRQ Publication No. 17-05229-EF-1. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2017.

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2017

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the 4Kscore team is eager to do our part to join in the conversation and educate individuals about the risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, and 1 in 7 men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during the course of his life. [1]

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month serves as an ideal platform for medical professionals, health advocates, medical researchers and individuals to share an open dialog about the far-reaching impact of the disease. September was officially designated as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in 2015 with the intention of:

  • Increasing public awareness about prostate cancer
  • Advocating for more research on prostate cancer
  • Educating the public about the risk factors and symptoms of the disease
  • Making prostate cancer screenings more accessible

Watch for the Blue Ribbon

A light blue ribbon serves as the symbol of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Intended to serve as a reminder and spark conversation, watch for blue ribbons throughout the month, and wear one yourself to support all the men in your life.

Education is Important

Why is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month so important? Education is essential in the fight against prostate cancer.

  • There will be roughly 161,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the US in 2017 [1]
  • There will be roughly 26,700 deaths from prostate cancer in the US in 2017 [1]
  • Localized prostate cancer has a 5-year survival of nearly 100%, while aggressive types of prostate cancer that metastasize have a 5-year survival of approximately 30%. [4]
  • It is important to identify men at risk of aggressive prostate cancer early
  • Low risk men may be followed more conservatively, while high risk men should receive appropriate follow up and treatment
  • About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older [1]
  • The risk of prostate cancer is 74% higher in black men than in white men [3]

Get Involved!

During the month of September, we encourage you to get involved in Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Watch for news and information from trusted sources. Talk to family and friends about the risk of prostate cancer, and the importance of screening. Watch for blue ribbons and use them as an opportunity to start dialog about the importance of prostate health.

The 4Kscore® Test and Early Prostate Cancer Detection

At BioReference Laboratories and GenPath Oncology, we are proud to our part to spread the word about Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. We will be joining in the conversation, throughout the month, on our blog and social media channels. And be on the lookout for a special image to share on our social media pages; for every time the image is shared, we will be donating $1 to Ed Randall’s the Fans 4 the Cure.

As the makers of the 4Kscore Test, a blood test that helps to clarify the biopsy decision-making process by determining a man’s risk factor of having aggressive prostate cancer after an abnormal PSA, we work to shed light on the topic during the month of September and throughout the year.

*As part of this drive, BioReference commits to donate up to $25,000

Celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness Month & Determine Your 4Kscore

We urge you to use this annual observance as a reminder to stay on top of your prostate health. If you, or a loved one, are due for a prostate cancer screening, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about the 4Kscore Test and #KnowYourScore.

We also encourage you to stay tuned throughout the month of September to discover more ways to celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness Month with us. Be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Be in the know!

 

  1. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html (Accessed July 11, 2017).
  2. American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer Fact Sheet. Available at https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/booklets-flyers/prostate-cancer-fact-sheet.pdf (Accessed July 12, 2017).
  3. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. Available at https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and-figures-2017.pdf (Accessed July 12, 2017).
  4. National Cancer Institute. Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer. Available at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html (Accessed July 12, 2017).

4Kscore Test: A Clinically Proven Prostate Cancer Test

The 4Kscore accurately provides the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, reducing the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies performed annually. The accuracy of the 4Kscore algorithm to provide the risk of high grade prostate cancer is based on over a decade of research completed by scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and other leading international cancer research centers.

4Kscore Test: A Clinically Proven Prostate Cancer Test

The 4Kscore Test has undergone a wide variety of clinical studies in reputable research facilities, in the US and abroad. Some highlights:

  • The 4Kscore was validated in a prospective blinded clinical study conducted at 26 urology centers across the United States on more than 1,012 patients. The 4Kscore demonstrated a near perfect calibration to actual prostate biopsy results, with a significantly higher accuracy than PSA for high grade prostate cancer.1
  • In a landmark case-control study including 12,542 men, the 4Kscore’s ability to predict risk of developing distant metastasis in men with a suspicious PSA for their age was evaluated. Men who had a suspicious PSA and a 4Kscore of 7.5% or less had a very low risk (< 0.3%) of developing distant metastasis within 10 years.2
  • In a retrospective study, where the 4Kscore was provided to 611 patients seen by 35 academic and community urologists across the United States, a reduction in prostate biopsies of 64.6% was reported.  There was a 94% reduction in prostate biopsies in men with a low risk 4Kscore (< 7.5%).3

Additional studies include:

Accurately Identify Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer with the 4Kscore

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. Having the ability to accurately identify a man’s risk of having aggressive prostate cancer not only saves lives but dramatically decreases the number of unnecessary biopsies, which can be both painful and costly.  The 4Kscore Test measures 4 prostate-specific kallikreins in the blood: Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA, and Human Kallikrein 2 (hK2), which are combined with important clinical findings to provide the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. With  extensive research and validation to back it up, the 4Kscore Test is revolutionizing the way doctors and patients approach prostate cancer diagnosis.

If you would like to learn more about the 4Kscore Test, we encourage you to contact us today or find a laboratory in your area.

 

  1. A Multi-institutional Prospective Trial in the USA Confirms that the 4Kscore Accurately Identifies Men with High-grade Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol 2014; 68(3):464-470
  2. Improving the Specificity of Screening for Lethal Prostate Cancer Using Prostate-specific Antigen and a Panel of Kallikrein Markers: A Nested Case–Control Study. Eur Urol 2015; 68 (2): 207-213
  3. The 4Kscore® Test Reduces Prostate Biopsy Rates in Community and Academic Urology Practices. Reviews in Urology 2015. 17(4): 231-240

 

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.

Happy New Year! How Your Resolution Can do More than Trim Your Waistline

Are you resolving to get into shape this New Year? If so, you are not alone. According to a 2015 Nielsen study, 37% of those surveyed listed staying fit and healthy as their New Year’s resolution while 32% were focused on weight loss. [1] As we move into 2017, it is safe to assume that these goals remain among the most common resolutions of the New Year. If you hope to improve your health in the coming months, we applaud you! After all, a healthier lifestyle not only makes you look and feel better, it can reduce your risk factor for a multitude of health problems.

Body Mass and Cancer Risk [2]

The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that roughly 20% of cancers diagnosed each year in the United States are linked to preventable health issues – including excess body fat, lack of physical exercise, excess consumption of alcohol, and/or poor nutrition.  While all of these variables may contribute to one’s cancer risk, excess body weight seems to have the strongest correlation, contributing to as many as 1 in 5 of all cancer-related deaths.

Carrying excess body weight is linked with an increased risk of many types of cancer including breast cancer, endometrium cancer, esophagus cancer, colon and rectum cancer, pancreas cancer, and kidney cancer. In addition, being overweight or obese may potentially raise one’s risk of developing aggressive forms of prostate cancer, gallbladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer, multiple myeloma cancer, cervix cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Health in the New Year

Studies tells us that carrying excess body fat is not only hard on the heart, it can contribute to your cancer risk factor, being all the more reason to set health goals in 2017 and resolve to stick to them. Carve out time each week to exercise to help you stay fit, and make a conscious effort to eat a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Another factor that can contribute to cancer risk, including prostate cancer risk, is family health history. Don’t miss our recent post to learn more about genetic predispositions for developing cancer. If you or a loved one have reason to believe that you are at an increased risk of prostate cancer, we encourage you to remain vigilant.  By regularly visiting your doctor and undergoing blood tests, you can assess your risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. The 4Kscore is an advanced blood test that predicts a man’s risk percent of having aggressive prostate cancer in a biopsy on a scale of <1% to >95%.

Setting Your Health Resolutions

As we kick off 2017, we encourage you to resolve to live a healthier lifestyle – not just by trimming your waistline, but also by talking with your family about your health history, visiting your doctor regularly, and reducing your disease risk. And if you’re a man with an elevated PSA, check your risk for aggressive prostate cancer with the 4Kscore test.

Would you like to receive more health tips and insight in the coming year? Subscribe to our blog!

  • This Year’s Top New Year’s Resolution? Fitness!! Available at https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html. (Accessed December 11, 2016).
  • American Cancer Society. Does body weight affect cancer risk? Available at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/dietandphysicalactivity/bodyweightandcancerrisk/body-weight-and-cancer-risk-effects. (Accessed December 11, 2016)

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.

Would you like to receive more insight on the health issues that impact you and your family? Subscribe to our blog.

  • 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.

Would you like to receive more tips and insight on living a healthy lifestyle? Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn! While you’re here, help us spread the word about the importance of staying fit during the holidays.

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.
Help us spread the word that an elevated PSA score doesn’t have to be intimidating by tweeting:
If you have received news of an elevated PSA score, you might be feeling a bit scared. The 4Kscore can help you determine your prostate cancer risk level! Click to tweet
If you are interested in learning more about the 4Kscore and prostate health, follow our blog and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.