New Prostate Cancer Advice Can Provide Clear Message To Men

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Many men, especially those who are already in their fifties are all definite that prostate cancer screening tests are important to have themselves tested for a possible prostate enlargement. However, a clearer message about this concern is set for them—that they should not do it anymore.

Majority of men in the US, especially those over 50 years old may consider having prostate screening tests as incontrovertible truths, but the truth is, finding cancer at an early point can do more harm instead of helping people. The government panel has already drafted a recommendation that PSA blood tests must not be considered a part of routine screening for elder men.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, after examining all evidences, they found little proof that there are reductions in death from routinely screening elder men for their PSA. And a more concerning truth is, they found out that too many men have been diagnosed of tumors which never would have killed them; and that these men suffered from serious side effects from treatment of the tumors.

The recommendation drafted is still tentative and is still subject for public comments; however, this step took by the government is another realization of the American Cancer Society’s urge that people need to be informed of the pros and cons of each procedure and decide for themselves as to whether or not they should take the tests. This advice will definitely stir a controversy in the healthcare field and even at this point, many doctors are already rejecting such recommendation.

“We all agree that we’ve got to do a better job of figuring out who would benefit from PSA screening. But a blanket statement of just doing away with it altogether … seems over-aggressive and irresponsible,” according to a prostate cancer specialist at the University of Chicago, Dr. Scott Eggener.

“Men have been confused about this for a very long time, not just men patients but men doctors,” according to Dr. Yul Ejnes, one of the chairs of American College of Physicians’ board of regents. Ejnes further said that we are presented with this dogma that early cancer detection can actually save our lives, but this not actually true for all cancers.

“We have invested over 20 years of belief that PSA testing works. … And here we are all of these years later, and we don’t know for sure,” wrote Dr. Len Lichtenfield of the American Cancer Society. “We have been poked and probed, we have been operated on by doctors and robots, we have been radiated with fancy machines, we have spent literally billions of dollars. And what do we have? A mess of false hope?”

An excess amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood usually indicates prostate cancer is potentially happening. It can mean a benign inflammation or merely an infection of the prostate. But the fact is, most men who undergo prostate biopsy due to high PSA levels do not turn out to have prostate cancer.

 

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