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Leader in Prostate Health Urges Prostate Cancer Screening in Face of Contradicting Data
Date:3/18/2009

SA) test as a valuable tool to assist in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, as well as an enlarged prostate. These studies show evidence that screening is associated with a fall in mortality. While not perfect, the PSA test is the best screening tool available right now. That is why the PCEC actively participates in research to help advance PSAs, the development of new biomarkers and other technologies.

"The truth is too many men, nearly 30,000, are dying from this disease, which is survivable when discovered early," said Poage. "We know for a fact that some men will be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer that will eventually take their life. If caught early, through screening, these lives could be saved. Discouraging or withholding screening without firm evidence could cost men their lives."

The PCEC encourages men to "Choose to Know - and Know to Choose." This means they should choose to know their PSA values, just as they would their cholesterol, and know that there are many choices and variables in determining if they need a biopsy and subsequent treatment if cancer is found. The organization recommends a baseline prostate health assessment, including PSA and digital rectal exam (DRE), for all men at 40 years of age and at 35 for men at high risk (including those with a family history of prostate cancer and African-American men). Based on this assessment, men with a PSA less than 1ng/ml should begin annual screening starting at age 50. Those who have a PSA greater than 1ng/ml should discuss additional testing and screening with their doctor. The PCEC recommends annual screenings for these men. However, the PCEC does not advocate for screenings if a man's life expectancy is less than 10 years.

"For all we know, additional data from the trial may show a mortality benefit with screening. As prostate cancer, in general, is a slow growing disease, in the future the data may conclude that there is
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SOURCE Prostate Conditions Education Council
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