Test could aid diagnosis of male cancer

A SIMPLE genetic test could improve diagnosis of the most common cancer to affect men in the UK, according to city researchers.

Scientists from Edinburgh University believe the test, which spots problem cells that can appear healthy under a microscope, will help identify prostate cancers that have been missed in routine check-ups.

The procedure could prevent patients from undergoing repeated invasive investigations which can be unpleasant and carry a risk of serious infection.

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Edinburgh experts worked with counterparts at St Andrews University to lead research into the new test.

Dr Grant Stewart, clinical lecturer in urology at Edinburgh University, said the new test could reduce the number of repeat biopsies by 68 per cent.

“We’ll save many men a repeated biopsy, which is just another little thing we can hopefully do to improve the journey through this difficult disease,” he said.

“Only about 20-30 per cent of men who have a repeat biopsy actually end up having prostate cancer. Many are having a repeat biopsy for no reason.”