New Prostate Cancer Screening Advice: Check With Your Doctor About PSA Testing

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The US Preventative Services Task Force understands that the recommendation is confusing for both medical providers and patients.

Men aged 55 to 69 should have the right to be screened for prostate cancer, according to revised U.S. guidance that highlights a hard decision faced by millions in Britain. The USPSTF recommends against PSA-based screening for men 70 and older.

But the task force is now recommending that men aged 55 to 69 talk to their physicians about whether to get the test. The panel said there's evidence that "active surveillance", which involves repeated PSA testing and close monitoring, can help men diagnosed with cancer avoid harsh treatment or at least delay it. Prior to this decision, patients should discuss the potential benefits and harms of screening with their clinician, taking into account their specific clinical situation (family history, race/ethnicity, comorbid conditions) and personal values (C Recommendation).

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The risks of not screening, including a small chance of developing prostate cancer that could grow so slowly, patients would likely die of something else.

For decades, men were advised to perform a blood test seeking for PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which can be boosted due to prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among American men. PSA-based screening and the prostate biopsies used to follow-up on high PSA levels can not tell for sure which cancers are likely to be aggressive and spread, and which will grow so slowly that they will never cause any problems. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affects men. Instead of completely boycotting the test, the individuals with age between 55 and 69 should consult their physician related to the risks and advantages and then they are independent to make their own choice. Its new guidance, echoing other groups' advice and affirming its draft recommendations issued past year, was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr., professor at Stanford University, where he is also a professor of medicine, health research and policy (by courtesy), and management science and engineering (by courtesy).

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