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Cause of colon cancer might not be what we thought

The cause of colon cancer might not be dietary or just hereditary. New research suggests polyps of the colon that lead to colon cancer could be caused in part by two specific types of  bacteria.
The finding has implications for how colon cancer begins and could mean new ways to prevent the disease that is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. (1) Two types of bacteria play role in inherited and sporadic colon cancerResearchers at Johns Hopkins made the discovery that two types of bacteria play a "critical role" in the development of  hereditary and sporadic cancer of the colon, based on observations that people with colon cancer harbor two types of intestinal bacteria.
The finding is also supported by studies in mice.
See: How rice bran could protect you from cancer
The two types of bacteria noted in people with cancer of the colon that seem to promote the formation of colon tumors are Bacteroides fragilis and Escherichia coli/
The combination of the tw…

This new blood test that could replace PSA for prostate cancer could mean fewer biopsies

A better way to diagnose prostate cancer with a simple blood test


The PSA test for prostate cancer has been highly criticized because it just doesn’t give enough information and can lead to unnecessary biopsy that can have side effects for men - some of which might not be reversible.

Now there is evidence that a test called the IsoPSA could replace the PSA test and reduce the need for prostate biopsy.

The finding, published online last month by European Urology, highlights research done by Cleveland Clinic, if validated, could mean men could breathe easier when it comes to worrying about prostate cancer.

Test uses traditional PSA information to make a better diagnosis

The test uses protein changes found in traditional PSA blood testing to detect prostate cancer in addition to whether a tumor is  high or low grade or even if a tumor is non-cancerous.

The finding was presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting, May 10, 2017.

PSA testing can detect levels of protein in the blood that could (but may not) mean prostate cancer.

The IsoPSA blood test looks at how the proteins are structured. Statistics show just 25 percent of men with elevated PSA actually have prostate cancer.

Prostate specific antigen testing (PSA) won’t uncover whether cancer is aggressive.

Dr. Klein, chair of Cleveland Clinic's Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute said in a media release:

"Unfortunately, PSA is tissue-specific but not cancer-specific, leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of biologically insignificant cancers, which is widely recognized as a key limitation in its clinical utility."

Risks of prostate tissue biopsy

Some risks associated with having a biopsy of the prostate gland include bleeding and infection and pain.

The test takes about 15 minutes Some men describe the sensation as someone “flicking” their perineal; rectal area.

The risk of infection has become more of a concern in recent years due to antibiotic resistance.



Studies ongoing

Studies are ongoing to prove the effectiveness of the new type of blood test for prostate cancer that, if validated, could also mean better surveillance after prostate cancer diagnosis.

The current study included six healthcare institutions and 132 men who were scheduled for prostate biopsy.

The researchers compared PSA to the IsoPSA test by confirming the results among men with high-grade cancer from those with low-grade disease and those who had benign disease, diagnosed with ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate.

"Due to its inherent simplicity, requiring only a blood draw and presenting information to the physician in familiar context using a single number - just like PSA itself - we are quite hopeful in IsoPSA's future utility after further validation studies," said Mark Stovsky, M.D., co-author of the study.

Until a more accurate blood test than the PSA is approved, biopsy is still the best option for prostate cancer diagnosis.

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