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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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
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