At-Home Urine Testing Could Revolutionize Prostate Cancer Diagnoses

At home urine tests have been quite revolutionary in a number of ways but the latest development may be one of the most beneficial.  From determining pregnancy and diagnosing certain condition, this would be the first at-home urine test to help diagnose prostate cancer. 

The study authors explain that the Prostate Urine Risk (PUR) kit looks for gene expression of cancer in liquid waste.  The test involved 14 patients whose expended kits all showed “biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than a rectal examination,” which is currently the first step in diagnosis.  

Reportedly, this test also “predicts” whether a man who shows this gene expression will need treatment. Most importantly, this allows for low-risk patients to avoid unnecessary—and expensive and time-consuming and stressful—therapies that are often accompanied by many frustrating side effects. 

Dr. Jeremy Clark, of the UEA Norwich Medical School, explains, “Being able to simply provide a urine sample at home and post a sample off for analysis could really revolutionize diagnosis. It means that men would not have to undergo a digital rectal examination, so it would be much less stressful and should result in a lot more patients being tested.  The PUR test looks at gene expression in urine samples and provides vital information about whether a cancer is aggressive or ‘low risk’.” 

The lead study author goes on to say, “We found that urine samples taken at home showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination. Becuase the prostate is constantly secreting, the collection of urine from men’s first urination of the day means that the biomarker levels from the prostate are much higher and more consistent, so this is a great improvement.”  

Most important, though, patient feedback from the study showed that many prefer an at home test.  As such, the PUR can accurately—and conveniently—predict aggressive prostate cancer, as well as whether or not treatment will be required up to five years earlier than our present clinical methodology.  It could also mean that those with a negative test would only need to be retested at two or three years, which not only reduces patient stress but also hospital workload. 

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