The Prostate Cancer Screening Debate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Hawkeye Caucus   
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:53

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued new recommendations against routine prostate cancer screening.  The USPSTF now recommends that regardless of age, men without symptoms should not routinely have the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer.

The recommendation has raised concerns among health care specialists. Some say the task force based its recommendation on flawed data.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men discuss the possible risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening with their doctor before deciding whether to be screened.  The discussion about screening should take place at age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and at age 45 for men who are at higher risk, including African-American men and men who have a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer.


Karl Kreder, M.D., professor and head, UI Department of Urology: “It is very important to recognize that there are side effects to prostate cancer treatments and those do need to be taken into account.  Men need to talk with their physician to determine if they should be screened, and how to proceed if prostate cancer is detected.  For some men, monitoring the progression of their disease is appropriate, but if the cancer is aggressive and fast-growing, treatments can extend survival.”

UI researchers are working to develop a prostate cancer vaccine.  Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in men over age 75. If the patient’s type of prostate cancer is less aggressive and slower to grow, the patient could die of another cause before the prostate tumor would cause a problem.  More information is available online at:
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