Staying Alive through Early Detection - Screening
In the past year and a half a controversy has developed within the prostate cancer community. The United States Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society have come out with new prostate cancer guidelines [see also the American American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines] The new guidelines are based upon tests whose results are questionable.
The new guidelines recommend against "routine prostate cancer screening for men over the age of 75. Furthermore, the guidelines state that more evidence is needed to determine if men under 75 could benefit from screening."
- FACT: Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer.
- FACT: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States
- FACT: Prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 men.
- FACT: Measurement of prostate specific antigen (PSA) prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood can aid significantly in the detection of prostate cancer.
- FACT: With PSA/DRE screening only 4% of prostate cancers are advanced (compared to 21% before PSA/DRE).
- FACT: It is estimated that over 27,000 American men will die of prostate cancer this year.
- FACT: It is estimated that over 160 Maine men will die of prostate cancer this year.
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer (MCFPC) along with many other groups such as the American Urological Association, US TOO, ZERO-The Project to End Prostate Cancer, The National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, numerous physicians, and research hospitals continue to support and encourage men to be screened at an early age.
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer believes that a cancer can’t be treated unless it is detected. Because Prostate Cancer is most treatable when detected early, we advocate baseline screening with a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) for most men at age 40.
CHOOSE TO KNOW.
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer, comprised of survivors and partners, believes that over screening is not the problem. Over treatment is. More in-depth counseling about treatment options (including active surveillance) is needed. Given a full range of resource materials and information about the advantages and disadvantages of all treatments we trust men to make good decisions for themselves.
CHOOSE TO KNOW.
Please continue to read the position statement from the MCFPC to the controversial guidelines.
We have also prepared this review of research finding on the screening controversy.