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Blood test may identify prostrate cancer risk

A simple blood test may be able to determine whether men are at risk of developing prostrate cancer, research shows.

Experts say the test may be especially useful in men with a family history of prostate cancer.

Senior researcher Jianfeng Xu said: "This is significant and could affect clinical care.

"The information could substantially improve physicians' ability to assess risk and determine the need for more aggressive screening or even a biopsy."

Currently, age, race and family history are the three factors associated with increased risk of prostate cancer.

"Our finding provides an opportunity to supplement the well-established risk factors by looking at how many of these variants a man has inherited," said Xu.

"It may provide a much better weapon to guide clinicians."

The researchers add, however, that further study is needed to determine how a blood test may complement prostrate-specific antigen testing.

Wake Forest Univesity