Harvard Men's Health Watch

New tests promise smarter prostate cancer screening and treatment

A number of new tests combine measurements of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) with other cancer markers in blood and urine to more accurately identify men who should have a prostate biopsy to look for prostate cancer. New gene-based tests provide information to help decide whether a man should have a repeat biopsy when the previous one found no cancer, yet PSA remains high. Gene-based tests can also help men and their doctors assess how likely the cancer is to spread and progress. A slow-growing, low-risk cancer may not demand immediate treatment. In that situation, a man could choose to closely monitor the cancer and move forward with treatment only when the cancer shows signs of spreading. This strategy is known as active surveillance or watchful waiting.
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