A test that detects dangerous tumors of prostate cancer has been developed by doctors.
Current methods mean that distinguishing between harmless and aggressive prostate tumors is extremely difficult – especially in the early stages.
For some men, tumors can be deadly, while in others they grow slowly and may never cause any problems.
As a result, about 20,000 men each year undergo unnecessary surgery or radiation.
Currently, doctors can determine the size of a tumor – but not how active it is – by injecting a patient with a special solution and then taking an MRI.
The new test, developed by the University of Cambridge, could prevent thousands of men from undergoing unnecessary interventions for benign prostate tumors.
But in one trial, University of Cambridge researchers attached a non-radioactive form of carbon, called carbon-13, to a sugar-like molecule and injected it into a vein near the tumor.
They found that if the tumor retains carbon-13, that indicates a large amount of lactate is being produced – a sign that the cancer is thriving.
Dr Nikita Sushentsev, who was involved in the study, said the breakthrough brings doctors closer to being able to ‘distinguish tigers from pussycats’ in prostate cancer.
Around 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK and around 30,000 of these have low-risk tumours.
The Daily Mail has campaigned for urgent improvements in prostate cancer diagnoses and treatments.
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk