By the way, doctor: Should I get the prostate cancer test I've heard about?
Q. I heard about a new test for prostate cancer that's better than the PSA test. Should I get this test?
A. You're probably talking about the EPCA-2 test. EPCA stands for early prostate cancer antigen. Johns Hopkins researchers have identified EPCA-2 as one of the proteins present in the nucleus of prostate cancer cells when they turn cancerous. Small amounts leak into the bloodstream, so EPCA-2 can be measured with a relatively simple blood test.
In April, the Hopkins group reported results showing that the EPCA-2 test was very accurate in telling the difference between cancer that was confined to the prostate and cancer that had spread outside the gland.