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Welcome to The Cancer Information Network

Prostate Cancer Education Council Adds a New Test for Screening Prostate Cancer During Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (PCAW)

NEW YORK (The Cancer Information Network) - For the first time during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (PCAW) men will receive an additional form of the standard PSA blood test called complexed prostate specific antigen (cPSA).   Research found that the use of the cPSA test results in fewer false positive diagnoses of prostate cancer than commercially available tPSA and reduces the number of biopsies necessary to detect the disease by 44,000 each year in the United States.  The Prostate Cancer Education Council (PCEC) added cPSA based on the growing weight of scientific evidence for this test.

Prostate cancer is currently the most prevalent form of cancer in men and the second leading cause of male cancer death in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that 189,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year in the U.S., with 30,000 deaths attributable to this disease.

To test for prostate cancer, doctors use a simple physical test combined with a blood test which measures a protein released by the prostate called prostate specific antigen or PSA. The cPSA test that the PCEC is now offering measures a specific form of the PSA protein called complexed PSA or cPSA that increases when a man has prostate cancer. “We are very excited about evaluating this form of PSA during PCAW,” said E. David Crawford, M.D., chairman of the PCEC, which sponsors PCAW. “More than two-thirds (67 percent) of men taking part in PCAW last year said they did so for peace of mind, to be certain they didn’t have prostate cancer. We want them to know that the PCEC is proactive and follows advances in testing methods.”

Screening Guidelines

Prostate cancer can usually be cured when detected early. The PCEC Screening Guidelines recommend an annual prostate screening for men over 45 and for men over 35 who are at high risk. 

What Is PSA?

PSA is a protein produced by cells in the prostate. PSA has proven to be an extremely useful marker for early detection of prostate cancer and in monitoring patients for disease progression and the effects of treatment. PSA levels of 4.0 ng/ml or less are usually considered normal; higher levels (4 to 10 ng/ml or higher) are often found in men with prostate cancer. However, current PSA testing generates false positives because PSA levels can also increase due to noncancerous conditions of the prostate which are increasingly common as men get older. PSA testing can also generate false negatives because a significant number of cases of prostate cancer have been found in men whose PSA was “normal,” between 2.5 to 4 ng/ml. As a result, much research has focused on ways to improve the accuracy of PSA testing. The cPSA test offers physicians and patients a new weapon in the fight against prostate cancer. 

History of PCAW

The PCEC was formed in 1988 to educate men and their families about prostate cancer. Millions of men have participated in PCAW since it began in 1989.  

Screenings during PCAW have yielded valuable research results, including data reflecting the positive predictive value of conducting the physical exam and the PSA tests together rather than alone.  Future studies will involve monitoring the yearly changes in individuals’ PSA levels to determine which changes are part of the normal aging process and which may signify a problem. 

The number of early stage prostate cancer cases that are detected has risen since the first PCAW screenings in 1989. Currently, between 60 and 80 percent of all cases are discovered while the cancer is still localized and at its most curable stage.

Bayer Diagnostics, the manufacturer of the cPSA test, is a sponsor of PCAW. For more information, call 1-866-4-PROST-8 or visit

Suggested Readings
1. Subscribe the monthly newsletter of The Cancer Informa- 
tion Network. 

2. Radiation for Prostate Cancer - This is the web site of a private radiation
treatment center. It provides very useful information about seed implant

3.Living with cancer: A message of hope. by Anne Bancroft. (VHS 55 minutes).

4.Affirmations for Living beyond Cancer. by Bernie S. Siegel (VHS).

5.50 Essential Things To Do When the Doctor Says It's Cancer.
Top 10 Questions after Cancer Diagnosis - Virtual Hospital provides this informative lecture hitting all the major points about diagnosis and treatment.
  Ask a Physician - From Mayo Health - Do you have specific questions or concerns? Click here to ask a specialist, or browse frequently asked questions about cancer.
  Webcasts Alphacancer provides  discussions between leading health professionals on a particular topic.  Currently available topics include breast cancer and colon cancer.

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