Prostate Specific Antigen

Modern prostate cancer research was framed in the 1940s by the discovery that hormones, primarily testosterone, were responsible for the growth of tumors. Over the next 5 decades, various types of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical options, and hormone therapy were refined.

In 1994, the FDA-approved the PSA or prostate specific antigen blood test to detect early prostate cancer in men without symptoms.

Since cancer detected early is much easier to treat, use of the prostate specific antigen test for cancer screening has contributed to the subsequent increase in the number of patients diagnosed early enough to be cured with surgery or radiation, and resulted in a 52% reduction of deaths from prostate cancer over the past 2 decades in the U.S.

However, the prostate specific antigen test sparked concerns that it has led to over-treatment of non-aggressive, slow-growing prostate cancers that would not have caused harm to the patient.

Since 1993 when the Prostate Cancer Foundation began funding life-prolonging advancements in research, amazing strides have been made in finding therapies for treating advanced prostate cancer that are now part of an improved standard of care. There have been tremendous advancements, including:

  • Imaging technology to help find prostate cancer
  • Precision radiation therapy
  • Development of robotic surgery
  • Numerous new FDA-approved therapies that help men live longer

Because of these improvements and potentially other unknown factors, since 1993, deaths from prostate cancer have been cut in half (from 39.3 per 100,000 men in 1993, to 19.1 per 100,000 men in 2014).

Today, precision medicine, which involves looking at the DNA of your tumor and its unique genetic profile to match the right drug to the right patient at the right time, is ushering in a new era in treatment for prostate cancer that may someday lead to DNA testing as a gold standard in cancer care.

Scientists are also exploring how immunotherapy—the process of using the body’s own immune system to combat disease—can be used more effectively in treating prostate cancer.

Hands Better Inc.
Hands Better Inc.
A Cure In Education.

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