Prostate cancer doesn’t typically have early warning signs. As a result, it’s important to work with your healthcare practitioner to know your risk. Prompt Prostate Genetic ScoreTM (PGS) provides men with their personalized lifetime risk of prostate cancer. Using a simple cheek swab, Prompt PGS is able to identify those men at greatest risk of prostate cancer and empower them and their healthcare practitioners to take action by getting screened before it’s too late.
Prostate cancer doesn’t typically have early warning signs. As a result, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to know your risk. Prompt Prostate Genetic ScoreTM (PGS) provides men with their personalized lifetime risk of prostate cancer. Using a simple cheek swab, Prompt PGS is able to identify those men at greatest risk of prostate cancer and empower them and their healthcare providers to take action by getting screened before it’s too late.
Once you understand your personalized risk, you and your healthcare practitioner may decide to move forward with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. An exam can also be conducted to feel the prostate gland to detect any abnormalities. If the results of these tests are abnormal, then further testing may be conducted.
If prostate cancer is found as a result of early screening, it may be in an earlier and more treatable stage than if no screening were done at all.
What is a PSA Test and How Does it Work?
PSA is an enzyme which is only made by the prostate and is measured by a blood test.
In addition to prostate cancer, many benign (noncancerous) conditions can increase a man’s PSA levels. The most commoncauses of PSA elevation are inflammation of the prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate1, so having a high PSA score does not automatically indicate prostate cancer.
Men may elect to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test as it can be an early sign that cancer may be present. Unfortunately, as PSA is not specific to cancer, many men suffer from needless anxiety and undergo painful and expensive diagnostic procedures to follow up on a PSA rise which is not cancer related.
Why Aren’t More Men Screened with a PSA Test?
There is much debate about whether ordering the PSA test for a routine annual prostate cancer screening is a good idea. For years,the PSA test was used to screen for prostate cancer without any clear evidence for or against it.
However, this all changed in 2009 when the results of two large trials - one from the US and one from Europe - were published. In short, the US trial found that the PSA test had no survival benefit for average risk men, while the European trial found a small benefit.2
Benefits of PSA Screening
- May help you detect prostate cancer early.
- Cancer is easier to treat and is more likely to be cured if it’s diagnosed in the early stages of the disease.
- PSA testing can be done with a simple, widely available blood test.
- For some men, knowing is better than not knowing. Having the test can provide you with a certain amount of reassurance - either that you probably don’t have prostate cancer or that you may have it and should consider biopsy.
- The number of deaths from prostate cancer has gone down since PSA testing became widely available.
Downsides of PSA Screening
- Most prostate cancers are slow growing and never spread beyond the prostate gland.
- Not all prostate cancers need treatment. Treatment for prostate cancer may have risks and side effects, including urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, or bowel dysfunction.
- PSA tests aren’t foolproof. Most men flagged for prostate biopsy from an elevated PSA will likely test negative for cancer.
- A diagnosis of prostate cancer can provoke anxiety and confusion. Concern that the cancer may not be life-threatening can make decision-making complicated.
- PSA testing has lowered deaths, but the number may not be substantial enough to justify the cost and possibility of harm to the person undergoing the testing.
“Prostate Cancer Screening: Should You Get a PSA Test?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Feb. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/psa-test/in-depth/prostate-cancer/art-20048087.
The results of these trials in addition to some of the downsides of the screening test led the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) - a governmental agency that advises physicians on a wide range of health-related topics, including cancer screening - to recommend against annual PSA screening. As a result of this decision, early detection rates and prostate cancer screenings are declining. At the same time, the number of men with incurable disease is on the rise.
In 2018, the USPSTF proposed changing its recommendations to state that healthcare practitioners should now discuss the pros and cons of PSA testing with potential high risk patients to help them decide whether to have the test or not. But how do you know your individual risk? Relying on family history alone may not be enough. Using a simple cheek swab, Prompt PGS is able to identify those men at greatest risk of prostate cancer and empower them and their practitioner to take action by getting screened before it’s too late.
1. “Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test.” National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/psa-fact-sheet#what-is-the-psa-test.
2. Atlas, Steven J. “Time to Rethink the Debate on PSA Testing.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 22 Sept. 2017, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/time-to-rethink-the-psa-to-test-or-not-to-test-debate-2017092912463.
Our genetic test encourages men to be actively involved in the development of their personalized prostate cancer screening approach at an early stage. With a simple cheek swab, Prompt PGS compares your specific genetic profile to tens of thousands of others and can help you and your healthcare practitioner determine what is best for you.
Prompt PGS will empower you and your healthcare practitioner with your genetic score to make an informed decision about screening.
Knowledge is power… Ask your healthcare practitioner about your Prompt Prostate Genetic Score today.