Prostate Cancer Screening – No Clear-Cut Answers Yet on this Debate

June 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

The PSA testing for men with prostate cancer has been disapproved recently by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The recommendations of this task force state that there is more harm with going for the PSA than good. Some medical personals have been against the recommendations, while others have lent their support in some ways.

This also applies to opinions patients who are at the receiving end of the diagnosis and treatments for prostate cancer.

However, there is still no clear-cut answer to prostate cancer screening. This observation has been buttressed by a recent online publication. Here is the extract:

Lab testing for prostate cancer plays an important role in men’s health. However, it can be difficult for individuals to know when they should get themselves tested, as there is a lot of conflicting information.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently advised all men to avoid PSA testing, a common blood test for prostate cancer. The agency said this procedure leads to overdiagnosis and treatment of benign tumors. This contributes to unnecessarily high costs and risks to the patients health.

However, experts from the Mayo Clinic say that this recommendation misses many of the nuances that should be considered when determining whether a man should receive PSA testing.

The group says that doctors and patients should consider factors like family history, age, ethnic background and other medical conditions that could influence PSA results. Rather than saying either all men should be tested or none should be tested, the group recommends that each patient decide with their doctor whether the lab test is appropriate.

“It may be a simple test but it’s not a simple decision,” said urologist Jeffrey Karnes. “A PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences.” Source.

So, there is still need for clarity when it comes to whether men should go for PSA screening or not. Balancing the benefits of the test and the consequences of over diagnoses should be established.

However, individuals understanding and decision still subsists in making the right decision.  You should consider the risk factor and weigh your personal preferences as noted by urologist Jeffery Karnes in the extract above.

Finally, while many are still in the middle line on whether to go for PSA or not, it is hoped that sooner there would be clear-cut answer to prostate cancer screening using the PSA test.

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