Now, a quick test to spot prostate cancer

October 6th, 2008 - 11:04 am ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 6 (IANS) Scientists have launched a new blood test in Britain that they say can spot prostrate cancer - the most common cancer in men - in just ten minutes.The disease accounts for about a quarter of all new male cancers diagnosed.

Previously, men had to wait several days for results because conventional tests require blood to be sent to a laboratory.

But in the new test it needs only a small drop of blood from a finger-prick which is analysed using a portable machine, reported online edition of Daily Mail.

The latest test costs around 40 pounds and is being made available throughout Britain. It assesses the level of cancer marker Prostate Specific Antigen, or PSA in blood.

PSA is a protein which leaks out of the prostate gland when it is damaged. A raised PSA level does not necessarily mean the patient has prostate cancer - but could suggest the need for further investigation.

The test, called PSAWatch, makes it easier to screen men for prostate cancer - potentially saving thousands of lives, doctors say.

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