The rise in the incidence of prostate cancer is mainly attributed to the increasing use of the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test as a screening tool.
Regardless of doubts over its sensitivity and specificity, PSA remain a key mechanism in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. The Department of Health (DH) in the UK recommends urgent specialist referral for patients presenting with age-elevated PSA. This national guideline, known as the National Cancer Wait Times (NCWT) system, aims at monitoring the process of referral, investigation and management of new suspicious prostate cancer cases. The use of transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided prostate biopsy is the gold-standard specialist investigation for prostate cancer. However, there is growing interest in the use of imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as first-line specialist investigation for suspicious prostate cancer.
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Reference: Br J Nurs. 2011 Nov 11-24;20(20):1310-4.