When it comes to your health, it is never a bad idea to get a second opinion. No matter what diagnosis your doctor might give you, at the end of the day it is your health; your body.
And a new study is now pointing out that sometimes, it is actually best to get a second opinion. Prostate cancer, for example, has been difficult to detect because the detection method(s) have not changed in two decades—and the one(s) we have not been very clear.
This study, then, says that conducting a prostate cancer test twice can provide a better idea for which direction to take treatment (or lack of need, thereof). Furthermore, conducting this simpler test twice could reduce the need for an unnecessary (and more expensive and invasive) diagnostic surgery.
The study has been conducted by researchers at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Assessment Center, in Ottawa, Canada. In observing 1,268 men in the study population (all with abnormal levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA), between 2008 and 2013, the researchers say that performing the prostate cancer detection test more than once can, in fact, reduce the need for biopsy by as much as 60 percent.
More specifically, the researchers found that in 25 percent of these men, PSA levels returned to normal during the second test. In fact, only 28 percent of these cases recommended the men should undergo the more accurate biopsy to get a better diagnosis. 62 percent, though, had two abnormal readings which resulted in biopsy.
In addition, the study showed that only about 3 percent of men who had received conflicting PSA results and then underwent the biopsy were actually determined to have cancer. This is compared to the 19 percent who were diagnosed with cancer after receiving abnormal PSA results.
Lead study co-author Dr Rodney Breau, shares: “A high PSA level is associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer, and PSA screening can help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.”
He adds, “However, PSA levels can also fluctuate because of infections, physical activity and laboratory error. Because of this variation, we implemented a protocol to always repeat an abnormal test before referring a patient for a biopsy. We had a hunch that this would reduce unnecessary biopsies and our study shows that our suspicion was correct.”
This study has been sponsored in a team effort by Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa.
[graphiq id=”oJkDfXau5T” title=”Mortality of Prostate Cancer in the United States” width=”600″ height=”487″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/oJkDfXau5T” link=”http://conditions.healthgrove.com/l/835/Prostate-Cancer” link_text=”Mortality of Prostate Cancer in the United States | HealthGrove”]