The test looks for two genetic markers associated with prostate cancer. The first is called transmembrane protease serine 2 – ETS-related gene (TMPRSS2-ERG) caused by two genes that move and merge together; it's expected to cause prostate cancer.
Since the incorporation of the genes is only seen in half of patients with cancer, the test is also looking for another marker known as prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3).
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can indicate prostate cancer, but it ain't reliable. It often gives incorrect results. You may have a low PSA but get a cancer, or you may have a high PSA and don't have a cancer.
Well, the two genetic markers may be more believable. One of them, TMPRSS2-ERG, only appears in cancer. Together with the PCA3, your doctor can determine your risk and decide whether a biopsy is now necessary or not.
However, the test ain't perfect. It's hard not to recommend a person to undergo a biopsy because there's always a chance that undetected cancer is tucked from the two markers.
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The Great Prostate Hoax
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Prostate Cancer
The Intelligent Patient Guide to Prostate Cancer
Winning the Battle against Prostate Cancer
Behavioral Science in Medicine