Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers and a leading cause of cancer death for men. But not all cases of prostate cancer are deadly or need treatment. There are two different forms of prostate cancer:
Indolent Prostate Cancer
- Cancer cells grow slowly
- Stays within the prostate without spreading to other parts of the body
- Most men lead normal, full lives without treatment
Aggressive Prostate Cancer
- Cancer cells are fast growing
- Spreads to other parts of the body
- Requires early detection and treatment
Who Is at Risk of Prostate Cancer?
Studies show that about 1 in every 9 men will have some form of prostate cancer in their lives.1 Risk factors that can play a role in developing prostate cancer include:
Age: Men’s risk increases significantly after age 50, with about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer found in men aged 65 and older.1
Family history and genetic predisposition: Men with close relatives, such as a father or brother who has been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer, are at elevated risk to develop the disease. Genetic studies suggest that inherited mutations, or changes of a gene, may be responsible for 5% to 10% of prostate cancers.2
Race: African-American men are at an increased risk compared to other groups. They are more likely to get prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men.
Altogether, nearly 3 million men in the United States are currently living with prostate cancer.1 The good news is that indolent prostate cancer has a very high survival rate without treatment, and if aggressive prostate cancer is diagnosed early, there is a good likelihood of successful treatment.
Is Testing Available for Prostate Cancer?
A blood test called a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is often used as a screening tool to assess the health of a man’s prostate. An elevated PSA level, along with other clinical findings, may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. However, many other conditions can lead to a similar increase in PSA.
- PSA has low specificity for distinguishing between cancer and other common conditions that can cause an abnormal PSA result, such as BPH, prostatitis, etc.
- PSA results may be elevated in indolent (non-life-threatening) or aggressive (potentially lethal) forms of prostate cancer
Because of these limitations, patients with an elevated PSA frequently undergo prostate biopsies or treatment that may be avoidable. Approximately 75% of men undergoing a prostate biopsy are found to either not have cancer or to have the indolent form of prostate cancer. Potential complications of prostate biopsy include bleeding and pain, and in some cases may lead to hospitalization and serious infection. Diagnosis of indolent prostate cancer may lead to overtreatment, which may result in significant complications including impotence, sexual dysfunction, and incontinence.
The 4Kscore® Test
The 4Kscore® Test is a simple blood test for men who have an elevated PSA test result and/or an abnormal DRE (Digital Rectal Exam). The test accurately identifies your individualized risk of aggressive prostate cancer using four prostate-specific blood biomarkers and your personal clinical information. The 4Kscore® Test provides information that can minimize unnecessary medical procedures, and it has been proven by over a decade of research involving thousands of patients at leading cancer research centers around the world.
Find out more about prostate cancer testing on 4kscore.com.
- American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed May 22, 2019.
- American Cancer Society. Inherited gene mutations. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html. Accessed May 22, 2019.