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Faster test for prostate cancer

19 May 09

Men could be tested for prostate cancer in future by studying samples of their semen, it has been claimed.

Scientists have developed a new three-minute test for disease that relies on shining light through fluid from the prostate gland.

At present the test has to be carried out on biopsy samples obtained by inserting a needle into the prostate. But experts hope further development will lead to a simple test of semen, half of which is composed of prostate fluid. The standard PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood marker test often gives false results. As a result patients may be wrongly led to believe they have cancer, or cancers can be missed.

The new test developed by British and US scientists including a team from the University of Durham measures the wavelength of light as it is shone through diluted samples of prostate fluid.

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