Dynacare is one of the few laboratories to provide comprehensive care in the area of prostate cancer care. Not only does Dynacare deliver both the simple PSA blood test and the more advanced PCA3 urine test, it has staff pathologists on hand who can analyze and interpret biopsies if needed.

PSA test determines baseline

Laboratory test results are an especially important element that help to empower and support patients and their doctor as they make decisions related to prostate cancer. In particular, Prostate Cancer Canada recommends that men have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in their 40s to establish a baseline. Determining your risk of developing prostate cancer includes discussing your family history with your doctor and reviewing other risk factors, such as age and ethnicity, along with changes in your PSA levels from baseline. If your PSA levels are found to be elevated, you will want to talk to your doctor about potential next steps, which may include the PCA3 test.

“We use a number of laboratory tests, including PCA3, to aid in the identification of patients that might have prostate cancer. The subsequent biopsies we take are routinely sent to Dynacare, where a team of expert pathologists interpret the microscopical appearances of the prostate tissue and render a diagnosis.  We are also working with Dynacare on a new blood test with the potential to further aid in diagnosing this disease,” says Dr. Neil Fleshner, Head of the Division of Urology at the University Health Network.

Coming up with the best course of action

When patients and their healthcare providers decide a biopsy is necessary, anatomical pathologists analyze and interpret the results that, along with other medical information, determine the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer. A diagnosis of prostate cancer does not necessarily mean that aggressive surgical or radiation treatment is needed, however. If the cancer is small and slow-growing the best approach might be to follow an active-surveillance protocol, which involves closely monitoring prostate cancer using PSA tests and digital rectal exams (DREs).

“In nearly all cases, prostate cancer is diagnosed by analysis and interpretation of prostate biopsy specimens. The Dynacare team of highly respected surgical pathologists who specialize in prostate cancer perform the analysis and interpret these biopsy samples,” says Dr. John Srigley, Dynacare’s National Director of Urological Pathology.  “This is one of the largest prostate biopsy services in the province.”