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.

Coping With a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

If you’ve received a recent prostate cancer diagnosis, it’s normal to feel numb, grief-stricken, shocked or angry as you process the reality that cancer is now part of your story. Though all these reactions are normal, they can slowly drain your emotional and mental energy if you allow them to consume you. To understand clinical recommendations and make informed choices about prostate cancer treatment, you first need to deal constructively with the thoughts and feelings that threaten to overwhelm you.       

What Does Constructive Coping Look Like?  

Everyone copes in his own way, and it takes time and practice to recalibrate your thoughts and find your equilibrium after a cancer diagnosis. As you work through this process, try incorporating these coping methods:

  • Be informed & proactive. Prostate cancer can send you reeling. For many men, reestablishing a healthy sense of control is the first step to making peace with a diagnosis. Begin by asking questions, drawing from clinical resources and taking time to research what your results mean—and what options you have. Depending on your family history, PSA, Gleason score and 4Kscore results, your cancer care team can help you develop a treatment strategy tailored to you. Possible treatments may include watchful surveillance, surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Draw strength from community. Though you may want to avoid people or withdraw into yourself after a prostate cancer diagnosis, it is painful to handle the journey on your own. If you are not comfortable with a traditional support group format, consider a health and wellness Meetup group. Your gym or local hospital may also host community wellness programs that blend camaraderie, fitness and education. With over 170 worldwide locations, the Cancer Support Community offers workshops, online forums and recreational programs where prostate cancer survivors receive social and emotional support throughout all stages of their disease.
  • Create a holistic self-care plan. It’s easy to focus on the physical part of prostate cancer treatment, but remember that emotional and spiritual well-being also factor into an effective self-care strategy. Pursue balance in the form of healthy eating, positive sleep habits, recommended exercise, and meditation or relaxation techniques. While there is no single right way to eat, exercise or feel better, working with a multi-disciplinary team of dietitians, social workers, spiritual advisors and physical therapists can help you make the best decisions.
  • Maintain normalcy. When your world seems upside down, there’s something to be said for routine. Taking life one day (or moment) at a time, do your best to pursue your career, engage in hobbies, and enjoy time with family and friends—with the understanding that you may need to modify from time to time. Continually remind yourself that cancer doesn’t define you, even when it seems ever-present.

Stay Informed With 4Kscore

This year alone, the American Cancer Society reports that more than 160,000 American men will deal with a prostate cancer diagnosis [1] and weather its impact on their lives, families and careers. Subscribe to the 4Kscore blog to learn more about advances in the world of prostate cancer testing.

  • American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. (Access Sept. 15, 2017) https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

Prostate Cancer Awareness is on the Rise

Prostate cancer impacts millions of lives around the world each year. In fact, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. [1] Like most health conditions, public awareness is key in the fight against prostate cancer. Each year more and more celebrities, athletes and organizations join in the cause to raise prostate cancer awareness, an effort which touches the lives of those impacted by the disease.

Celebrities Committed to Raising Prostate Cancer Awareness

Ed Randall

Ed Randall is a famous television personality who became a household name with his show Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball. The show aired nationally from 1988 to 2002. Some of his most famous interviews included Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Ernie Banks, Bob Gibson, Harry Caray and actor Bill Murray.

Today Mr. Randall is the CEO and Founder of Ed Randall’s Fans for the Cure (FFTC). Established in 2003, FFTC has since host more than 1,500 prostate cancer awareness days/nights at major league and minor league ballparks throughout the country. Ed also travels the US hosting town halls with survivors, physician and policy makers, sparking conversation about how to most effectively diagnose and fight the disease. Learn more about FFTC at their official website: https://fans4thecure.org/ [2]

Harry Belafonte

Beloved musician Harry Belafonte is accredited with popularizing calypso music. Today his name has also become synonymous with the effort to raise prostate cancer awareness. Mr. Belafonte was diagnosed at the age of 69. After undergoing treatment, Belafonte set out to ignite conversation around the impact of the disease and the importance of early detection. Much of his work has focused on raising awareness in the African American community and dispelling the stigma of undergoing prostate examination. [3]

Ben Stiller

When you hear the name Ben Stiller, plenty of things come to mind. The famous comedian, actor and filmmaker has stared in a host of iconic comedies since he first began his Hollywood career nearly 3 decades ago. Today Ben is not only a star, but he is a husband and a father who has most recently made headlines as an advocate of early prostate cancer detection. Ben made headlines just last year when he spoke out about his 2014 prostate cancer diagnosis and encouraged others to take an active role in monitoring their prostate health. [4]

Organizations Supporting Prostate Cancer Awareness & Research

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball has partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to host the annual PCF Home Run Challenge. The annual event brings together the biggest names in baseball to raise money for research. Monetary pledges are made based upon the number of home runs hit throughout the week leading up to Father’s Day. Since the inception of the PCF Home Run Challenge in 1997, it has raised more than $40 million for prostate cancer research. Visit www.homerunchallenge.org to access a schedule and to make a pledge. [5]

This is just a small sampling of the growing list of personalities and organizations who are joining the cause. As we celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness month this September, we encourage you to watch for messaging from these individuals and organizations, as well as others joining in the conversation. While you’re at it, do your part to shed light on the topic. Share information about the importance of raising public awareness and early detection. Together we can make a difference.

 

  • American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. (Access August 7, 2017) https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
  • Fans for the Cure. About Us; Ed Randall. (Access August 7, 2017) https://fans4thecure.org/
  • Harry Belafonte Speaks Up Against Prostate Cancer. (Access August 7, 2017) https://www.oncolink.org/cancers/prostate/support-and-resources/survivor-stories/harry-belafonte-speaks-up-against-prostate-cancer
  • Ben Stiller: Prostate Cancer Test ‘Save My Live.’ (Access August 7, 2017) https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/04/health/ben-stiller-prostate-cancer/index.html
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation. Support Our Partners. (Access August 7, 2017) https://www.pcf.org/c/support-our-partners/

 

Why is it Important to Know if I have Aggressive Prostate Cancer?

Prostate Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that 26,120 men will die of prostate cancer in 2017 alone. [1] While these figures are alarming, not all forms of prostate cancer are equally dangerous.  Those types of prostate cancer that are indolent and unlikely to spread have good survival rates, with 5-year survival of [2]:

  • Localized prostate cancer 100%
  • Regional prostate cancer 100%
  • Distant metastatic prostate cancer 29.8%
  • Unstaged prostate cancer 81.2%

Aggressive vs Low Grade Prostate Cancer

Low-grade prostate cancers are generally considered to be non-life threatening, and in many cases the patient may not even require treatment. Physicians often recommend patients with low-grade prostate cancer (Gleason Score = 6) simply be monitored with active surveillance. Prostate cancers with a Gleason Score ranging between 7 and 10, however, are considered aggressive and may be life threatening. In many cases, those men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer can benefit from and should receive early treatment.

Detecting Aggressive Prostate Cancer

The PSA test is a widely-used blood test designed to detect Prostate-Specific Antigens (PSA) in the bloodstream. Though an elevated PSA level can be indicative of a higher risk level of developing prostate cancer, it does not effectively differentiate between prostate cancer and other less serious health conditions. Oftentimes, an elevated PSA score does not indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

The 4Kscore is a blood test performed after an abnormal PSA that provides men with an accurate risk of having aggressive prostate cancer, and categorizes their risk of developing distant metastasis for over 10 years. [3, 4] It combines four prostate protein levels and clinical findings to provide a risk score for aggressive prostate cancer, which can then be used by men and their doctors in the biopsy decision making process.

By providing the risk of aggressive prostate cancer after an abnormal PSA, the 4Kscore is revolutionizing the way physicians and patients approach prostate cancer diagnosis. As a result, men with a low risk can avoid an unnecessary prostate biopsy, while higher risk men can get the appropriate evaluation and treatment. [5]

How do you know if you have aggressive prostate cancer?

Ready to Learn More About the 4Kscore?

At GenPath and BioReference, OPKO Health Companies, we often hear from both physicians and patients interested in learning more about the 4Kscore Test. If you are a physician interested in offering the 4Kscore Test to your patients, contact us today. Begin offering the 4Kscore Test in your practice and join our physician locater tool. If you are a patient who would like to encourage your physician to begin offering the 4Kscore Test, reach out to us. Together we can save lives!

Are you interested in learning more about prostate health? Subscribe to our blog and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Join in the conversation!

 

[1] Cancer.net. Prostate Cancer: Statistics. Available at https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics. (Accessed on April 5, 2017).

[2] NIH: Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer. Available at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html (Access August 1, 2017)

[3] Parekh DJ, Punnen Sm, Sjoberg DDm et al. A Multi-institutional Prospective Trial in the USA Confirms that the 4Kscore Accurately Identifies Men with High-grade Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2015; 68:464-70.

[4] Stattin P, Vickers AJ, Sjoberg DD, et al. Improving the Specificity of Screening for Lethal Prostate Cancer Using Prostate-specific Antigen and a Panel of Kallikrein Markers: A Nested Case-Control Study. Euro Urol. 2015; 68:207-213.

[5] Konety B, Zappala SM, Parekh DJ, et al. The 4Kscore® Test Reduces Prostate Biopsy Rates in Community and Academic Urology Practices. Rev Urol. 2015; 17(4):231-40.

 

Tips for Staying Active on Vacation

Preparing for a much-anticipated vacation? When planning a trip, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the excitement and neglect to account for your fitness routine. However, vacation is the perfect time to take your fitness regime to the next level. As you pack for that getaway in the mountains or escape to the beach, be sure to remember your hiking or running shoes. Not convinced that summer vacation is the time to prioritize your health? Consider this:

Physical Activity and Heath Risk

While most of us understand that regular physical activity contributes to our long-term health, did you know that recent research indicates a link between regular physical activity and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers? [1] Researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington concluded that physically fit men, in their midlife, are at a reduced risk level of cancer-related death as they age. [2]. Additionally, there is some evidence that increased activity in men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer may lead to improved outcomes[3] Simply put, staying fit just makes sense for your long-term health. What better time to prioritize your health than when you have extra leisure time on your hands?

  • Take a Hike
    No matter where your summer travels take you, chances are there is a hiking trailhead nearby. Check out the local tourism board’s website or ask locals for tips on popular hikes in the area. No matter your fitness level, you can find a hike that will challenge you and give you an energy boost for the rest of the day. Make it a point to check out a variety of trails, you are sure to enjoy taking in your vacation destination from this vantage point.
  • Take a Walking Tour
    Taking a simple walk can do wonders for your health. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society, adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, each week, or one and a quarter hours of vigorous intensity exercise each week. Research found that those who achieve this level activity, lowered their risk of death by 31%, while those who got 3 to 5 times the recommended amount lowered their risk of death by 39%. [4] Looking into guided walking tours while on your vacation destination can be a great way to get in some exercise while taking in the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
  • Get in a Workout Before You Start Your Day
    If you prefer to get in your workout early in the day, consider some circuit training. If you have a gym available to you, take advantage of it. Otherwise use the space available to get your metabolism moving. Jumping jacks, pushups and squats are just a few examples of exercises you can complete in a small space without the need for equipment. Get creative and start your day off on the right foot.

Rather than allowing your fitness routine to take a backseat during your next vacation this summer, why not make it a priority? Your body will thank you for it. If you are not currently active and are ready to get back into shape, use your time away as an opportunity to kick-start a new routine, and take the steps today to ensure your long-term health.
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!

 

1) 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 June 27, 2016)
2) JAMA Oncology. Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Incident Cancer, and Survival After Cancer in Men. Available at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2203829 (Accessed June 27, 2016)
3) 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 June 27, 2016)
4) American Cancer Society. Study Shows Walking an Hour a Day Achieves Greatest Longevity Benefit. Available at https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/study-shows-walking-an-hour-a-day-achieves-greatest-longevity-benefit.html. (Accessed July 20, 2017)

A Father’s Day Gift for the Special Dad in Your Life

Are you struggling to think of the ideal Father’s Day gift? This time of year, many of us are faced with the challenge of finding a gift that expresses our love and gratitude for the special fathers in our lives. If you are once again facing this dilemma, why not give peace of mind for their prostate health with information about the 4Kscore this Father’s Day.

Prostate Cancer Risk

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, second only to skin cancer. It is estimated that 161,360 men in the US will be diagnosed with the disease this year and it will lead to 26,730 deaths. [1] Though prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, the number of deaths from the disease in the US continues to decline. [1] This is welcome news to the loved ones of the men diagnosed with this disease.  This highlights the need to continue screening for prostate cancer with PSA, and providing those men who have an abnormal PSA with their risk of aggressive prostate cancer with a test such as 4Kscore. If you, or a loved one, are considered high risk, the 4Kscore can provide peace of mind to those who matter most.

The 4Kscore® Test

The 4Kscore is a simple blood test that helps doctors and patients in the biopsy decision-making process. The 4Kscore determines a patient’s probability for having aggressive prostate cancer upon biopsy. To arrive at a patient’s 4Kscore, a blood sample is evaluated to measure four prostate-specific kallikreins in the blood: Total PSA, Free PSA, Intact PSA, and Human Kallikrein 2 (hK2). The results of the blood test, along with clinical findings, are then analyzed in an algorithm to arrive at the patient’s personal risk percent from <1% to >95% of having aggressive cancer in a biopsy.

Give the Gift of Peace of Mind this Father’s Day

Rather than giving the special dads in your life another gadget this year, give the gift of prostate health peace of mind with information about prostate cancer risk and the 4Kscore test. Download our brochure and encourage him to contact this physician and ask the right questions. If his physician believes the 4Kscore test is right for him and orders the 4Kscore test, he can have his blood drawn at a 4Kscore patient service center.

On behalf of all of us at BioReference, we wish you and your family a very Happy Father’s Day!

Would you like to receive more insight and information on prostate health throughout the year? Subscribe to our blog!

  • Prostate Cancer: Statistics. Available https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics. (Accessed May 30, 2017).

Celebrate Men’s Health Month With Us

As you know, June is Men’s Health Month – a time we consider to be the perfect opportunity to do our part to shed light on the health issues that men face each and every day. To celebrate, we are hosting a #KnowYourScore Sweepstakes.

#KnowYourScore

Just like any sports fan or athlete knows, the score is important to the game. So why, in a time where prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men, is knowing your score for aggressive prostate cancer not just as important?

For men who have had an abnormal PSA test result, the 4Kscore delivers an individual man’s percent risk of aggressive prostate cancer ranging from <1% to >95% if a prostate biopsy were performed. However, many men may not understand their test result numbers and what they mean with regards to their risk of disease. That is why we are encouraging men to #KnowYourScore and talk with their physicians about what it means to them.

Win a Prize During Men’s Health Month

To help raise awareness during Men’s Health Month and encourage men to #KnowYourScore, we’re pleased to announce another #KnowYourScore sweepstakes.

Click here to join our mailing list to receive information about aggressive prostate cancer and other diseases that impact the men you love, and you will be automatically entered into the sweepstakes. One lucky entrant will be chosen at random to win a prize, which have been hand-selected to ‘keep you in the game’ this season.

Celebrate with Us

If you are a man with an abnormal PSA result, take the time during Men’s Health Month this June to talk with your doctor about your prostate cancer health, and see if you are a candidate for the 4Kscore test. Know your results and #KnowYourScore.

If you want to help the other men in your life #KnowYourScore, join the conversation online and help us spread the word about prostate cancer testing. Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

Announcing a Drop in the Price of the 4Kscore™ Test

We often hear from patients and physicians alike interested in learning more about the 4Kscore test as well as the associated cost. We have always worked to offer the 4Kscore tests at a reasonable price. With our Patient Health Advocacy Program, we are committed to increasing access to the 4Kscore for patients who do not have health insurance. Through these efforts, we have been successful in making comprehensive testing available to an expanding network of patients.

The New Price of the 4Kscore Test

We are very excited to announce that the 4Kscore test is now more affordable. The price has been reduced from $1900 to $595, making testing more accessible to men at an increased risk of having aggressive prostate cancer. If you would like to discuss your specific situation, and our self-pay and payment plan options, please call our specialized billing hotline at 855-4KBILLING (855-452-4554) between the hours of 9am and 9pm EST, Monday-Friday.

The Cost of Unnecessary Biopsies

As we recently discussed in a post on the topic, the cost associated with unnecessary biopsies preformed in the United States annually is staggering. Not only is the 4Kscore aiding in the biopsy decision making process, it can help to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies performed on an annual basis.

In helping patients, along with their doctors, make informed decisions about prostate biopsies, the 4Kscore is dramatically reducing the pain and cost associated with unnecessary procedures.1 In reducing the cost of the 4Kscore, we aim to make an even greater impact in the fight against prostate cancer.

Learn More About the 4Kscore Test

Whether you are a patient or a physician, we encourage you to contact us today. Learn more about the benefits of the 4Kscore. Find a laboratory in your area or begin offering the 4Kscore in your practice. Together we can make a difference!

 

  1. Voigt, J. D., MPH, MBA, Dong, Y., PhD, Linder, V., PhD, & Zappala, S., MD. (2017). Use of the 4Kscore Test to Predict the Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer Prior to Prostate Biopsy: Overall Cost Savings and Improved Quality of Care to the US Healthcare System. Reviews in Urology, 19(1), 1-10.

Why the 4Kscore is Important to Physicians and Patients

Nearly 3 million men live with prostate cancer in the US, with more than 160,000 new cases diagnosed each year[1].  Prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in men[2], which is why it’s important to find aggressive prostate cancers early when treatment can still be effective.  Unfortunately, current methods for screening and evaluating men for this disease have led to overuse of prostate biopsies, which can also lead to unnecessary complications.  This is why physicians are now using the 4Kscore, which is a simple blood test used after an abnormal screening test, to provide the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

4Kscore Provides The Risk Of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Screening with PSA and a digital rectal examination (DRE) is a routine part of many men’s regular examinations, and has led to a significant drop in prostate cancer deaths.  Screening with PSA is normally done in age appropriate men, and earlier in men with additional risk factors.  While PSA has been successful in finding many prostate cancers at a stage early enough to treat, it does a poor job of differentiating aggressive prostate cancers from indolent cancer, and can even be elevated in many benign conditions like Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH: a common condition for most men as they get older) [3].  As a result, there is significant controversy about continuing to use PSA as a routine screening test.

This is why a test like 4Kscore is so important to physicians and men concerned about their risk of aggressive prostate cancer.  4Kscore is a blood test performed after an abnormal PSA or DRE result.  It measures the values of 4 prostate specific biomarkers in the blood and combines them with clinical results, resulting in a score that accurately predicts an individual’s risk of aggressive cancer.  It can help avoid unnecessary prostate biopsies in low risk men, while higher risk men will continue to be appropriately evaluated with a biopsy.  4Kscore has been extensively evaluated in numerous published clinical studies, including a large US based prospective study at 26 centers around the country.  It has been shown to provide risk for high-grade cancer and also categorizes risk for developing distant metastasis.

Making An Informed Decision About Prostate Biopsies

With the 4Kscore, patients and physicians can make a more informed decision about the benefits and risks of getting a prostate biopsy.  Prostate biopsies can in some cases have complications like pain, bleeding, sepsis, and may lead to hospitalization, with its associated costs.  Currently, screening with PSA and DRE alone has resulted in the majority of biopsies having no or indolent cancer.  By using the 4Kscore in men with an abnormal screening result, many of these unnecessary biopsies can be avoided.  This leads to better clinical decision making, while also reducing costs to the patient and the healthcare system.

Is the 4Kscore Test Available at Your Practice?

At GenPath and BioReference, OPKO Health companies, we often hear from physicians and patients alike inquiring about the 4Kscore Test. If you are a physician interested in offering the 4Kscore Test in your practice, we encourage you to contact us today. Begin offering the 4Kscore Test to your patients and get listed in our physician locater tool. If you are a patient who would like to encourage your physician to begin offering the 4Kscore Test, we also encourage you to reach out to us. Together we can make the 4Kscore Test even more readily available.

If you are interested in learning more about prostate health through precision medicine, follow our blog and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

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.