Healthcast: New hope for prostate cancer treatment


LUBBOCK, Texas — Prostate cancer is the leading cancer in men and the leading cause of cancer death in men.

8% of men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Catch cancer early you have a better survival, explained Dr. Ryan Owen, Urologist with Covenant Medical Group.

But Dr. Owen said prostate cancer isn’t as clear cut as other cancers and there aren’t any warning signs unless it’s too late. 

Prostate cancer isn’t like other cancers like pancreatic cancer where you see a lesion on a scan or you have blood in the urine or pain on one side, said Dr. Owen. 

That’s why Dr. Owen says there is a wide range of testing that looks into the type of cancer a patient has to determine if it’s aggressive or non aggressive.

We base discussion on how aggressive we think that prostate cancer is going to be, explained Dr. Owen. The problem is we’re either catching it too early or mischaracterizing it as aggressive where it is in fact not aggressive. 

Now, new testing can look at the actual chromosomes in the biomarkers of aggressive prostate cancer and see if it’s an abnormal number.

A normal body has 46 chromosomes and a normal cell has 46 chromosomes, so they’re looking at prostate cancer cells that have 45 or 47 and what this test shows is the more off they are of 46 the more abnormal the number of chromosomes is, then the higher the chance of an aggressive type lesion there is, Dr. Owen explained.

This will help doctors make more specific decisions on treatment which will be more beneficial for the patient and ultimately save lives. 

Once we can add this information to the pile of information already there this will help patients make a more informed decision on what type of treatment they should undergo, Dr. Owen said.

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