Researchers have discovered a protein that could be used to distinguish between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, suggests that the presence of a protein, called Hsp-27, in cancer cells was an indicator that the disease will progress and require treatment.
However, when the protein was not present, the cancer can be monitored, instead of requiring immediate interventions such as drug treatment or surgery. That was the case in more than 60 percent of the participants.
“Cancer has the ability to impact every aspect of a persons life. Chemotherapy and surgery can also have a significant effect on health and well-being and that is why it is important that we first understand the biological nature of the disease and how it will behave in each individual patient, before determining if and when a person needs a particular type of treatment,” says study author Chris Foster.
A PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, blood test can be used to screen for the disease. While individuals are encouraged to discuss their risk factors with their health practitioners, some doctors recommend men over the age of 50 get a yearly PSA level test, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Recent research has suggested a vegetable-rich diet and pomegranate juice may lower the risk of prostate cancer due to their antioxidant power.
Other studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids to better prostate health.