What does screening of the prostate entail?
The PCA3 (Prostate Cancer Gene 3, formerly, DD3) Test is a molecular biological method for the early detection of prostate cancer, a tool more precise than the previous and one that may offer help in solving several clinical problems. It is not only prostate specific, but also highly specific to prostate cancer signifying that while an elevated PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) may be caused by other conditions, the PCA3 level is not influenced by other factors. The positive predictive value of the PCA3 urine test in prostate diagnosis is two times greater than that of the PSA serum test.
When should a PCA-3 Test be done?
Biopsy of the prostate is often performed on the basis of an elevated PSA level; yet, in 75% of the patients that have an elevated PSA level, no carcinoma of the prostate is found.
The PCA3 test as a diagnostic tool has been proven in the following cases:
A rectal digital examination will be done wherein the physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and to feel the prostate for hard, lumpy or abnormal areas. The test takes only a few minutes to complete. A slight, momentary discomfort may be felt during the test, but otherwise, the procedure does not cause significant pain or any damage to the prostate. A urine sample will be required then, since the PCA-3 Test uses the first urine passed after this procedure.
- in determining the initial biopsy, increased risk of prostate cancer due to family medical history, suspect physical findings, PSA value increased, dubious PSA values and physical findings,
- in determining the date of a repeat biopsy, the PSA level is obviously high but the previous one or more biopsies were negative or results were not obvious,
- in determining the aggressiveness of the treatment strategy and the active monitoring of verified prostate cancer cases (3-6 times/month). What happens during the examination?