A new test to see if men need prostate cancer treatment has been backed by a specialist on the disease, despite some opposing its use.
Professor Roger Kirby, director of the Prostate Centre in London, said the test for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) can help because any reading over four indicates there is a problem, which may be cancer.
He said the reason for the controversy is the risk of "over-diagnosis", which GPs fear because any excess of PGA is not necessarily proof of cancer.
However, Professor Kirby argued: "If you use the PSA test intelligently, you measure it serially and you keep an eye on it…if you use it sensibly then it can save lives."
And this should help to lower the numbers who end up needing surgery or radiotherapy, by separating them from those who "just need watching".
In January of this year, a study at UCLA in the US indicated that MRI scans can help indicate to surgeons whether nerve-sparing techniques are required in prostate operations.