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Androgen levels key to PSA testing

Category: Prostate

PSA testing is a vital tool for detecting prostate cancer in men. The test measures the amount of the hormone androgen produced by prostate growths. High levels of this hormone have been linked to advanced stage prostate cancer.

A new study has found that determining the point at which prostate growths begin producing androgen may be the key to screening men for prostate cancer.

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that once tumors begin producing androgen, they become more virulent and spread quickly. They said that turning this process off may be a key to killing cancerous growths in men.

"The goal would be to develop a drug that targets that enzyme to be used for the advanced, incurable stage," said Nima Sharifi, who led the investigation.

Sharifi added that prostate cancer can be easily treated when it is discovered early. However, when left untreated, the disease can become deadly.

The report noted that there are currently as many as 2 million men in the U.S. with prostate cancer and that the disease killed more than 27,000 men in 2009.

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