Stockholm3 test, diagnostic method for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. More than 5,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually in Finland.
The Stockholm3 test measures the risk of prostate cancer. The Stockholm3 test is primarily suitable for men aged 50–70 years. You can request a Stockholm3 test at any Mehiläinen laboratory.
How to book a Stockholm3 test
The Stockholm3 test does not require any special arrangements, such as fasting. The test can be performed at any time of the day. You can also come for the Stockholm3 test without a doctor's referral.
You can book an appointment at any Mehiläinen laboratory via the online booking service. Find your nearest laboratory and check its opening hours.
Who is test suitable for?
- The Stockholm3 test is primarily recommended for men aged 50–70 years.
- The test is suitable for men aged between 45 and 50 years if they have a family history of prostate cancer or have a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer.
- For men aged 70–75, the test is suitable if the risk of prostate cancer has previously been found to be increased and the person is in a good condition considering their age.
- Based on a doctor’s assessment, men of other ages can also take the test.
If you want to be tested but are unsure whether the test is suitable for you, you should discuss this with your doctor.
What does the Stockholm3 test indicate?
For the Stockholm3 test, a blood sample is taken and you are asked for background information.
- A blood sample is analysed to determine the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which is a protein produced by prostate cells. If the value is more than 1.5 ug/l, additional protein markers and more than 100 gene complexes will be analysed.
- The results are combined with clinical background data: age, prostate medication, previous biopsies and a family history of prostate cancer.
- The test result indicates the percentage probability of prostate cancer requiring treatment and the corresponding procedure.
- If the risk of prostate cancer is normal or lower than normal, a new blood sample is recommended to be taken within 2–6 years.
The test has been shown to reduce false suspicions of prostate cancer while identifying more cancers that require treatment than the current clinical practice.
Price of a Stockholm3 test
The price of the Stockholm3 test is EUR 324,80.
The price includes:
- The collection of the blood sample
- A statement and recommendations on further actions in the OmaMehiläinen service
The prices of further actions will be determined in accordance with the recommendations made separately.
What further examinations can be carried out on the basis of the test result?
Further examinations include a retest after 2–6 years, ultrasound and palpation of the prostate or ultrasound examination of the prostate and taking biopsies. Mehiläinen uses a high-quality magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method in combination with the Stockholm3 test.
Even if your risk of prostate cancer based on the Stockholm3 test is higher than usual, accurate MRI can help avoid biopsies. If the biopsies are taken, it will be easier to align them with high-quality images and fewer biopsies will need to be taken.
Results of a Stockholm3 test
The results of the Stockholm3 test are recorded in OmaMehiläinen. You can access OmaMehiläinen on your mobile phone by downloading the OmaMehiläinen app. You can also use the online version of the OmaMehiläinen app.
Stockholm3 test vs. PSA test
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. More than 5,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually in Finland (Source: Finnish Cancer Registry).
The risk of cancer has previously been assessed mainly with a PSA analysis from a blood sample, followed by an ultrasound scan or other imaging studies. In addition to the PSA test, adequate diagnosis often requires biopsies.
The Stockholm3 test developed at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has been shown to reduce the need for MRI or biopsies by at least one third as the test result is more accurate than the PSA test value. Prostate cancers requiring treatment are detected by the Stockholm3 test at the same level or more than the PSA test. The Stockholm3 test helps to minimise unnecessary suspicions of prostate cancer and, on the other hand, to detect cancer reliably at an earlier stage.
The method was initially tested in Finland in the joint Fin3 research project of Mehiläinen and Karolinska Institute, and the test was gradually introduced for wider use.
Since PSA values may also be elevated in the absence of cancer, biopsies of the prostate are sometimes taken unnecessarily. Sampling is not risk-free and the procedure involves discomfort and additional costs. On the other hand, not all cancers can be detected on time with the help of the PSA value result, as the person may have cancer even if the PSA is normal or only slightly elevated. In other words, two men can have the same PSA level, but one has cancer and the other doesn’t.
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