Movember is increasingly recognized as a month to raise awareness about men’s health issues. Topics on men’s mental and physical health are highlighted, the latter usually related to prostate conditions, including prostate cancer. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the estimated annual mortality from prostate cancer is expected to nearly double, from about 400,000 deaths currently to more than 700,000 deaths by 2040. Although not as widespread as lung cancer or colorectal cancer, this increase highlights the importance of detecting this type of cancer at an early stage in order to set up appropriate treatment. The two main risk factors for prostate cancer are aging and a family history of the disease. Thus, little can be done to prevent its development beyond a generally healthy lifestyle. However, in many cases it can be diagnosed quickly to allow early intervention.
Early detection of prostate cancer is key to improving recovery rates. Prostate screening tests are often done for men over 40 via digital rectal exams or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. If prostate cancer is suspected due to an enlarged or hardened prostate, or due to higher PSA levels, one may undergo a biopsy to properly diagnose and stage the cancer. A common approach to performing prostate biopsies is a mechanically assisted, ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsy of the prostate, where biopsy guns with needles less than 20 gauge are used to remove tissue. These devices have been instrumental in diagnosing more cases of prostate cancer, leading to their increased use worldwide over time.
According to GlobalData, the biopsy gun market grew by 3% between 2015 and 2021 and is expected to continue growing at a similar rate through the end of the decade. While other cancer indications like liver cancer and lung cancer are contributing to the growth of the biopsy gun market, prostate cancer remains an important indication for these needle biopsy devices.