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UAB Cancer Center, urologists affirm men should take lead in deciding prostate screening
Date:3/5/2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Men who undergo prostate-cancer screening should discuss with a doctor the uncertainties, risks and benefits of the test before it is performed, says Edward Partridge, M.D., president-elect of the American Cancer Society (ACS) National Board of Directors and director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"We reaffirm the importance of informed and shared decision-making between a man and his doctor regarding prostate screening," Partridge says. "We want people talking openly and honestly with a health-care provider about the pros and cons of these tests to be in a better position to understand the results."

His comments came after the ACS issued updated screening guidelines that suggest doctors more actively involve patients in the decision of whether or not to be screened for prostate cancer. While not a radical change from the previous prostate-screening recommendations, the new guidelines offer clearer guidance on those things that should be discussed, says Partridge, a co-investigator on the national Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO trial) that helped inform the updated guidelines.

Erik Busby, M.D., an assistant professor in the UAB Division of Urology, seconded Partridge. "The bottom line is that physicians need to inform men of the benefits of screening before performing it, and the decision should be made with a trusted source of regular care," Busby says. "Men without access to regular care should be offered high-caliber screening counseling, and they should get appropriate follow-up care."

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer found in American men. When it is detected early, prostate cancer often can be treated successfully; more than 2 million U.S. men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are alive today, Busby says.

The new guidelines provide detailed advice on the kind of information tha
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Contact: Troy Goodman
tdgoodman@uab.edu
205-934-8938
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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