A New Test for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer strikes 220,000 American men each year, killing nearly 30,000. But trying to find cancer in a gland the size of a walnut is more difficult then it appears. Now there is a less invasive and more accurate way of finding it.

A new prostate scan called Prose, it starts out with a standard MRI which while very good at showing the structure of the prostate has limitations. Prose is an improvement on MRI that can tell whether an abnormality on the regular scan is cancer by actually doing a chemical analysis of the prostate.

When the Prose MRI is applied to some suspicious areas of the prostate the Spectroscopy that comes out shows that levels of certain key chemicals in that part of the prostate are abnormal.

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Who is at Risk for Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in North American men after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer.

Both the number of new cases of prostate cancer and the number of deaths due to prostate cancer have increased in the past decade.

Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a risk factor. Some of these risk factors for prostate cancer are:

    Age - Prostate cancer is rarely seen in men younger than 50-years-old. The chance of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older.

    Race - Black males are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white males. Black males are also more likely to die of prostate cancer than white males.

    Family History of Prostate Cancer - A man whose father, brother, or son has had prostate cancer has a higher-than-average risk of developing prostate cancer.

Other potential risk factors include alcohol consumption, vitamin or mineral interactions, and other dietary habits.

Source: http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov/cgi-bin/srchcgi.exe?DBID=pdq&TYPE=search&UID=280+02606&ZFILE=patient&SFMT=pdq_scrprv/1/0/0 (National Cancer Institute) contributed to this report.