1) Researchers at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio have developed a “calculator” to predict probabilities of biopsy results based upon data such as PSA, age, race, results of digital examination and family history. To access the “calculator” online, go to http://deb.uthscsa.edu/URORiskCalc/Pages/calcs/jsp. The “calculator” is based on data from the prostate cancer trial that involved more than 5,800 patients to determine the risk of developing prostate cancer based upon PSA and digital rectal examinations. This information was recently cited in the October 19th Johns Hopkins Prostate Disorder Health Alerts.
2) When prostate cancer is first detected, the urologist will describe the extent of the tumor and the course of the disease using a system called the Whitmore-Jewett method or more commonly the TNM (tumor, nodes, metastasis) staging system. The “T” value describes the extent of the tumor; the “N” value indicates whether the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes; and, the “M” value indicates the presence or absence of metastasis to distant sites. This description will help in the choice of the most appropriate treatment option. The Johns Hopkins Health Alerts (September 13th, 2014) describes the TNM stages in more detail.