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Study finds more PSA screening awareness needed among high-risk groups
Date:8/10/2008

to expand use of the PSA test in young men with risk-stratification strategies," says Scales.

Current guidelines encourage prostate cancer screening in men age 50 or older if they have a life expectancy of at least 10 years. High-risk groups, such as African Americans or those men with a positive family history, are encouraged to have a baseline screening at age 40.

There's plenty of debate related to these tests. Some question whether the recommended screening age of 50 should be made earlier for average-risk groups. Others debate whether too many PSA tests are being performed, and whether their financial incentives in physician practices may contribute to overuse. There's also an ongoing discussion about the possibility of more biopsies resulting from additional testing, and whether treatment-related side effects outweigh the years of life and money saved with less advanced disease management.

Moul believes the current guidelines should be changed to encourage baseline PSA Risk-Assessment starting at age 40.

"Even a subtle increase in the PSA value at that age is a pretty powerful predictor of future prostate disease and cancer," says Moul. "Right now, only one in five men are getting a PSA test, which is encouraging, but I wish the number was higher. This research suggests we can do a better job of screening men at age 40, and a better job in high-risk men. There's a huge population of African American men who are not getting screened, and men with a family history of prostate cancer who are under 50 are also not getting screened."


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Contact: Debbe Geiger
Debbe.Geiger@duke.edu
919-660-9461
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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