Movember is increasingly being recognised as a month for raising awareness of men’s health issues. Topics on both men’s mental and physical health are highlighted, the latter of which usually relate to prostate conditions, including prostate cancer. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the estimated annual mortality due to prostate cancer is projected to nearly double, from approximately 400,000 deaths currently to over 700,000 deaths by 2040. While not as prevalent as lung cancer or colorectal cancer, this increase highlights the importance of detecting this cancerous type at the early stages in order to arrange suitable treatment. Two main risk factors for prostate cancer are ageing and family history of the disease. Thus, little can be done to prevent its development beyond leading a generally healthy lifestyle. However, in many cases it can be diagnosed quickly to enable early intervention.
Early detection for prostate cancer is critical for improving recovery rates. Prostate screening tests are often performed for men older than 40 via digital rectal exams or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. If suspected of prostate cancer due to an enlarged or hardened prostate, or due to higher PSA levels, one could undergo a biopsy to properly diagnose and stage the cancer. A common approach to performing prostate biopsies is by a mechanically assisted, ultrasound-guided thin needle biopsy of the prostate gland, where biopsy guns with needles less than 20 gauges are used to sample tissues. These devices have been instrumental in better diagnosing more prostate cancer cases, leading to their increased use globally over time.
According to GlobalData, the biopsy guns market has grown by 3% between 2015 and 2021, and is projected to continue to grow at a similar rate until the end of the decade. While other cancerous indications like liver cancer and lung cancer contribute to the growth of the biopsy guns market, prostate cancer is still an important indication for these needle biopsy devices.