UK scientists have made a breakthrough in prostate cancer research with a new test that could make spotting the killer disease much easier.
Prostate cancer is the most common among men in the UK with one in eight developing the condition at some point in their lives.
Current methods of detecting the illness can prove problematic, but researchers at Dundee University in Scotland have found a new ultrasound that is less invasive, more accurate and far cheaper.
Cancerous tissue feels harder than normal so an ultrasound is far better equipped to pick it up.
So far 200 people have taken part in Dundee’s study, but experts want to roll it out further to help save more lives across Britain every year.
Prostate cancer is the most common among men in the UK with one in eight developing the condition at some point in their lives. File image used
Professor Ghulam Nabi, the university’s team leader for the project, told The Guardian: ‘We have been able to show a stark difference in results between our technology and existing techniques such as MRI.
‘The technique has picked up cancers which MRI did not reveal.
We can now see with much greater accuracy what tissue is cancerous, where it is and what level of treatment it needs. This is a significant step forward.’
At the moment there is no single test to detect prostate cancer. A combination of MRI scans, biopsies and physical examinations are carried out to help determine if there are higher levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the bloodBut there is currently no prostate cancer screening programme in the UK as PSA tests are often found to be unreliable. This makes the Dundee discovery could be a real game changer.
There are 47,000 new cases of the disease in the UK every year and one man dies every 45 minutes as a result of it.
The new technology used by the Scottish university, known as shear wave elastrography (SWE), could help reduce prostate cancer-related fatality rates across the UK and beyond.