05/08/2013 12:11 EDT | Updated 07/08/2013 05:12 EDT

News Summary: Genetic test for prostate cancer aggressiveness may help determine treatment

BREAKTHROUGH: A new genetic test to gauge the aggressiveness of prostate cancer may help men decide whether they need to treat their cancer right away or can safely monitor it.

PROVIDING ANSWERS: Doctors say such tests can prevent overtreatment, a major problem in cancer care. Prostate tumors usually grow so slowly they will never threaten a man's life, but some prove fatal and there is no reliable way now to tell which ones will.

ABOUT THE TEST: Genomic Health developed the $3,820 test and says it can save money by avoiding unnecessary treatment. Another test for assessing prostate cancer risk that came out last summer — Prolaris by Myriad Genetics — costs $3,400.