AN AID IN DIAGNOSING PROSTATE CANCER
Q: What is the PCA3 ProfileR?
A: The PCA3 ProfileR is a molecular test that measures the presence of a gene called “PCA3” in your urine. PCA3 is found in higher levels in prostate cancer cells than in healthy prostate cells. Research has shown that they higher the level of PCA3 in your urine, the more likely it is that you have prostate cancer. PCA3 ProfileR requires that you submit a urine sample immediately after your doctor performs a digital rectal examination (DRE).
Q: Why do I need a DRE before submitting a urine sample for the PCA3 ProfileR?
A: A DRE is needed to ensure that your urine sample includes enough cells from all portions of your prostate to complete the test. The DRE allows cells from your prostate to enter your urethra where they are then delivered out of your body through your urine.
Q: I already had a PSA test; Why do I need the PCA3 ProfileR?
A: PSA is a blood test that has been used for decades to screen for prostate cancer. When your PSA level is very low, there is generally a low risk that you have prostate cancer. As your PSA rises, there is greater probability that you have prostate cancer. The problem with PSA is that it can often be high due to reasons other than cancer, such as an enlarged prostate (BPH) or inflammation/infection of the prostate (prostatitis). In these instances, your doctor needs more information to help determine your risk of prostate cancer. PCA3 ProfileR provides another valuable tool that can help determine if you have prostate cancer.
Q: How Does the PCA3 ProfileR detect prostate cancer and how is the result reported?
A: Once your urine sample is collected, it will be sent to an AmeriPath laboratory. Through complex molecular analysis, the level of PCA3 molecules in your prostate cells will be measured. This will represent your PCA3 ProfileR score. If your score is higher than 35, there is an increased probability that you have prostate cancer. If your score is less than 35, there is a lower probability that you have prostate cancer.
Ask your doctor about the PCA3 ProfileR at your next appointment.