“It’s not as simple as a PSA test anymore… we really use all those tools in our toolbox to try to make sure we are biopsying the right men. “ Dr. Adam Childs is a Urologist with Ozark Urology at the Washington Regional Center for Health. And he says new advancements in prostate screenings are helping men detect cancer sooner.
“Traditionally prostate cancer screenings meant checking a blood test called PSA which stands for Prostate Specific Antigen, also a rectal exam. The big controversy comes from PSA screening which can be falsely elevated. As men get older it can go up for any number of benign reasons and that’s led to unnecessary prostate biopsies, unnecessary diagnosis of small low grade cancer.”
“We still have those options and I think you can interpret them in a way to help minimize the risk of unnecessary biopsy, but there are now other options out there that we utilize routinely.”
Those options include a blood test called 4K Score and a Urine test called Select MDX. Dr Childs says these tests help stratify men’s risk better than the PSA test. And if they are still unsure whether or not to proceed with the biopsy a Prostate MRI is used.
“We are doing what are called MRI Ultrasound Fusion Targeted Biopsies, where we’re using the anatomical information from the MRI, fused into a live ultrasound imaging to do more targeted biopsies rather than kind of a general sampling of the prostate, we can target the area of most concern much more accurately than we have before.”
Dr. Childs recommends men get educated about the options before getting a prostate biopsy.