The Prostate Health Index for Detecting Prostate Cancer
Prostate Health Index (PHI) is a formula that predicts the risk of prostate cancer. The mathematical formula combines total Prostate-specific antigen, free PSA and proPSA to detect prostate cancer risk on biopsy. Additionally, the prostate health index predicts the risk of progression during active surveillance.
Unfortunately, prostate cancer is the second highest cause of death in the US men. Fortunately, prostate cancer scanning has helped in the reduction of prostate cancer death rates in the country. But PSA has certain limitations, while PHI provides more useful information compared to PSA alone.
Advantages of Prostate Health Index
PHI is being considered as a better predictive ability. The PHI test is better than total PSA when it comes to detecting prostate cancer in men having a PSA level below 10. This specific test cleanly predicts whether a man has prostate cancer compared to PSA3 test.
The PHI test can be used to detect whether a man needs prostate biopsy, depending on the cancer risk. The non-invasive PHI is a blood test that predicts the risk of prostate cancer. It is actually derived from the prostate-screening antigen test that has its own limitations.
The three tests, including total PSA, free PSA, and proPSA isoform, are combined in a mathematical formula to come up with a PHI score, which offers better results when it comes to detecting prostate cancer risk than the free PSA ratio or free PSA to total PSA ratio.
Benefits of PHI
- The test offers better sensitivity for cancer, meaning those with a low score are at the least risk of prostate cancer compared to those with a higher score, who are at the greatest risk.
- Men with urinary problems, such as slow urine stream, hematuria, should undergo PHI test to detect prostate cancer risk.
- The test may also be suggested for men with slightly elevated PSA to determine if they should undergo prostate biopsy.
- Those with a family history of prostate cancer are at a risk of such cancer and should have screening.
Though PSA is a useful test for prostate cancer detection, it does have limitations. PHI provides incremental improvement over PSA to detect risk of prostate cancer and reduce need for unnecessary biopsies.