Female scientist viewing an autoradiogram gel during an experiment in the laboratory.

Prostate cancer is a very common cancer affecting Australian men. In fact, it is the most common form of cancer that Australian males suffer from. Statistics show that approximately 1 in every 5 Aussie males risks contracting prostate cancer before the age of 85. While this is an alarming statistic, if detected early, prostate cancer is curable and the prognosis for a prolonged and healthy life is extremely positive.

Discovering prostate cancer early enough all depends on testing. All men should be tested regularly, so if any abnormalities are detected, prostate cancer can be dealt with in its very early stages.

This article is going to be focusing on genomic testing for prostate cancer, explaining what it is and how it helps in the fight against this prevalent disease.

What Is Genomic Testing for Prostate Cancer?

The latest in genomic testing technology has resulted in the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test. One of the important factors testing for any cancer can determine is the aggressiveness of the cancer and that’s exactly what this particular test helps to define. Some cancers are very slow to progress while others can spread at frightening speed. Once the aggressiveness of prostate cancer has been determined by the Oncotype DX test, your medical specialist will then be able to formulate the best course of action regarding treatment.

How Genomic Testing for Prostate Cancer Works

It’s all about the Genomic Prostate Score and this is defined by an increased understanding of gene expression profiles and how these profiles are able to predict the risk and aggressiveness associated with a particular cancer. An accurate prediction can be determined via a seventeen gene signature analysis, which enables the evaluator to be able to predict the biological behaviour of an individual’s prostate cancer.

A biopsy sample is taken from the cancerous region of the prostate and sent to the lab for testing and analysis and the results are based on the genes expressed by the cells in the sample. This new method makes it viable to more accurately predict the behaviour patterns of your particular prostate cancer over a period of time. This enables specialists to better understand whether treatment will help and whether your cancer is likely to progress further.

This form of gene signature analysis has been used successfully for years in treating breast cancer in women and is fast becoming a vital test in the management and treatment of prostate cancer in men. Whether to undergo active surveillance or active management of prostate cancer is something that needs to be determined and genomic testing has proven to be an invaluable tool in deciding on the correct course of action.

Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer?

In general terms, all men are technically at risk of developing prostate cancer, although not every man will. Prostate cancer is more prevalent in males who are middle-aged and above but can also develop in younger adult men. It’s vital that every man gets tested for prostate cancer on a regular basis and the older you are, the more at risk you become.

While rare in men younger than the age of 40, the possibility of developing prostate cancer increases greatly by the age of 50. About 60% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. It’s believed that prostate cancer can also be hereditary, so if there is a history of prostate cancer in your family, you should get tested at least annually once you reach the age of 40.

The most important thing to remember about prostate cancer is that it’s curable if detected early enough. A simple blood test is all it takes in the first instance and if any abnormalities are detected as a result of that test, then further exploration will be required to determine if prostate cancer is indeed present. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, then the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test will come into play to determine the aggressiveness of the cancer.

In Conclusion

Genomic testing for prostate cancer is an invaluable analysis tool that provides medical specialists with vital knowledge of how best to proceed in the surveillance and treatment of prostate cancer in men.