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Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a tumor marker that is widely advertised to be associated with screening for prostate cancer, however it is not an accurate enough method of detection. As high as 75% of men who have a prostate biopsy due to a high PSA reading do not have cancer. Its greatest use is following up treated cancer cases over time. However, there is argument that early rises are predictors of prostate cancer, but the benefit can only be achieved with serial testing. Another marker, called early prostate cancer antigen (EPCA) is far more sensitive with 94% accurate detection of prostate cancer. There are many other genes and enzymes that have been found to have an association with prostate cancer and these are also being targeted for screening purposes. Prostate cancer causes 30,000 male deaths a year, with far more living with the disease.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Baltimore sun.com
About: Prostate cancer screening dilemma
Date: 30 May 2005
Source: Baltimore sun.com
Author: David Kohn
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