Diagnostics

PCA-3 for prostate cancer screening

PCA3 : Prostate Cancer Screening

This is a molecular biology test to help you determine whether a biopsy is really needed (a urine screening test that determines high or low risk of developing prostate cancer).

The test for prostate cancer gene 3 (PCA3) is a molecular biology test. It does not replace the prostate specific antigen (PSA) evaluation. The PCA3 is an additional tool to more easily determine whether a prostate biopsy is needed to diagnose prostate cancer in men with suspected prostate cancer. PCA3, unlike PSA, is specifically related to prostate cancer, which means that it is only produced by cancerous prostate cells and it is not influenced by the size of the prostate. Therefore PCA3 is better than PSA at differentiating cancer from benign or non-cancer related prostate diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (i.e. an enlarged prostate) or prostatitis (prostate infection). The PCA3 test provides very useful information, in addition to that obtained from the PSA, to help determine whether a prostate biopsy is really necessary.

How to interpret the results of the PCA3 test?
The PCA3 test is simple: after a digital rectal exam, cancerous cells with high levels of PCA3 are evicted from the prostate and into the urine. A urine sample is then collected. This urine sample is sent to a WARNEX private laboratory that determines the PCA3 score. A high PCA3 score indicates an increased likelihood of the presence of cancerous cells, that is to say, the presence of cancerous cells in the prostate. A low PCA3 score indicates a decrease in the probability of the presence of cancerous cells. If the PCA3 score is low, the biopsy can be deferred or avoided. PCA3 thus avoids many unnecessary first biopsies along with the discomfort and potential complications (pain, bleeding and infection) that arise from them.

The PCA3 test can also be performed in men who have already had one or more negative biopsies. This allows us to predict the likelihood that a repeat biopsy would be positive, or to assess the need for a repeat biopsy.

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