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Prostate cancer seems like the forgotten cancer at times.

There were about 205,000 new breast cancer diagnoses this year. There were about 220,000 diagnoses of prostate cancer this year.

But breast cancer gets all the attention.

Every October it seems the whole world turns pink to promote breast cancer awareness. The NFL promotes it heavily (and quite profitably). There’s a traffic-snarling 5-K run seemingly every weekend. And on and on.

The government is focused far more on breast cancer too. The U.S. government spent $890 million on breast cancer in 2010. Government funding for prostate cancer was only $399 million that year. The lopsided trend is set to continue this year again.

Despite all that, there are some major innovations coming to prostate cancer. And these new developments are part of one the most lucrative emerging investment trends.

There Has to Be a Better Way...

Not much has changed in prostate cancer detection or treatment in a long time.

There’s basically two options.

A doctor can use a traditional digital rectal exam (DRE) to check for lumps or abnormalities. I’m sure you’re familiar with how that works.

A doctor can also check for issues with Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests. This test measure the level of PSA’s your body has built up in the blood.

After the PSA level is determined, the doctor has a much better idea that an abnormality is cancerous. For example, a patient with a PSA of between four and ten has a 25% chance of cancer. A reading of more than ten increases odds that it’s cancerous to 50%.

A biopsy is the next step. Up to 20 samples of tissue can be removed and then analyzed by a pathologist.

All that is a long, expensive, sometimes painful process which, quite frankly, results in a lot of poor diagnoses and billions of dollars in unnecessary treatments.

There has to be a better way and now there is.

A Profitable Combination” More Accuracy, Less Cost

Some of the top medical technology firms are stepping in to help address the growing concern, oftentimes opening up options for less invasive, safer treatment at less cost.

The newest and more accurate ways to analyze potential prostate cancer are based on something we talked about in the past, molecular diagnostics (past research can be can be found here and here).

We think molecular diagnostics are the way of the future. The companies which are looked at as “innovators” now will be “leaders” in the future. And prostate cancer detection and treatment is a perfect example of what’s coming for all types of ailments in the future.

Take Genomic Health (GHDX). It’s shares are up 270% over the last eight years due in no small part to it’s success in prostate cancer diagnostics.

Its Oncotype DX Prostate test measures the aggressiveness of prostate cancer by identifying 17 genes tied to prostate cancer.

This device is expected to give thousands of men – and their doctors -- a better understanding of how to treat prostate cancer. And it should cut down on surgeries and radiation therapy when they may be unnecessary and largely ineffective too.

Genomic Health isn’t alone. Myriad Genetics (MYGN) – up 467% in eight years – has a molecular diagnostics test called Prolaris that can detect the aggressiveness of the cancer too.

It just goes to show how beneficial, cost-effective, and truly game-changing molecular diagnostics really is…and will be for years to come.

The reality is that this will be quite explosive for growth investors looking for sizeable returns.

Having the ability to decipher how aggressive, or nonaggressive this cancer is can keep millions of men from unnecessary procedures will be only more valuable in the years ahead.

Looking ahead I see dozens of similar opportunities to make quite a small fortune in this sector alone. Stay tuned.

These are exciting times.

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