The Prostate Health Index (phi), a simple, non-invasive blood test that is three times more specific than the PSA to detect prostate cancer is now available according to a report in Science Digest. This may reduce the need for men to need a biopsy, when they test positive for prostate cancer using a PSA test.
Researchers said, “The PSA test is based on the fact that men with higher levels of PSA protein are more likely to have prostate cancer.” “However, the problem is that higher levels of PSA can also be caused by a benign enlargement or inflammation of the prostate, leading to many false positives for prostate cancer and ultimately unnecessary invasive biopsies and an increased potential for patient harm.”
The blood test is three times more specific in detecting prostate cancer than the PSA and may reduce the need for a biopsy and potential patient harm. Studies showed a reduction of 31% in unnecessary biopsies due to false positives on PSA’s using the phi test.
The phi test uses three different PSA markers as part of a sophisticated algorithm to increase the reliability of determining a patient with a positive PSA who has prostate cancer. “The Prostate Health Index is a significant addition to our comprehensive menu of advanced clinical evidence based blood tests that aid in early cancer detection” said the co-founder of the laboratory offering the test.