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Health

Prostate cancer breakthrough as UK team develops more accurate test

Sunday 13/May/2018 - 10:16 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Scientists have announced the development of a highly accurate and reliable technique for diagnosing prostate cancer. The Dundee University-based team say they have used an ultrasound process called shear wave elastography (SWE) to detect prostate tumours. The method is non-invasive and cheaper than current detection techniques، AS THE Guardian said.
Prostate cancer has become the most common cancer in men in the UK. One in eight men will develop the condition at some point in their lives with more than 47،000 new cases being diagnosed every year. Men aged 50 or over، men with a family history of prostate cancer، and black men are at greatest risk of developing the condition.
“Current diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely inefficient، leading to unnecessary treatments for many patients،” said the Dundee University team’s leader، Professor Ghulam Nabi. “Our new method is far more accurate and also allows us to identify the difference between cancerous and benign tissue in the prostate without the need for invasive surgery.”
The prostate is a small gland in the male reproductive system and is normally about the shape and size of a walnut. Current methods for determining if a prostate has become cancerous include a physical examination of the prostate (known as a digital rectal examination or DRE)، MRI scans، a biopsy or tests to determine levels of the chemical prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.
Stephen Fry، who has had surgery to deal with a prostate tumour، says he is excited by the new diagnostic test.
Stephen Fry، who has had surgery to deal with a prostate tumour، says he is excited by the new diagnostic test. Photograph: HGLGC Images
Each carries problems. PSA results can be unreliable; a DRE is not good at identifying which cancers are benign and which need treatment; MRI scans cannot always give a definitive answer; while a biopsy carries a risk of infection and is expensive.
The new method aims to get round the problems by targeting the prostate with ultrasound. Cancerous tissue is stiffer than normal tissue so shear waves are slowed as they pass through a tumour.

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