Serum activities of Acid Phosphatase (ACP) and Prostatic Acid Phosphatase (PAP) are still employed in most hospitals in Nigeria for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, because of lack of resources for prostate specific antigen (PSA) assay. Serum PSA and activities of phosphatase isoenzymes ACP and PAP, Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and Heat stable Alkaline Phosphatase (HSAP) were studied in 71 apparently healthy male controls and 47 proven prostate cancer patients. There were statistically significant increases in the mean serum levels of PSA, PAP, ACP, ALP and HSAP in the prostate cancer patients compared to the controls (P<0.001). PSA level was increased above the cut-off level in 85.1% of patients, PAP in 66.0%, ACP in 57.5%, ALP in 34.0% and HSAP in 21.3% of cases. Serum levels of PSA, ACP and PAP were lower and of ALP and HSAP higher in patients with longer duration of the disease (P<0.05). The study confirms the relevance of PSA assay over ACP, PAP, ALP and HSAP in the diagnosis of prostate cancer patients. It highlights the need for the inclusion of PSA assay in hospitals for accurate diagnosis of prostatic carcinoma
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