Yesterday the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its recommendations regarding prostate cancer screening.
- USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening in men younger than age 75 years.
- The USPSTF recommends against screening for prostate cancer in men age 75 years or older.
What is the USPSTF?
“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) , first convened by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1984, and since 1998 sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. The USPSTF conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the “gold standard” for clinical preventive services.”
More on Prostate Cancer:
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after lung cancer, affecting one in six men in the U.S.
Prostate cancer rarely affects men under the age of 40. Diagnosis is usually over made after 50 and in fact two-thirds of all cases are diagnosed in men over 65.
60 to 61% of the time it is diagnosed in an African American male.
A male is twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer if he has/had a father or brother with the disease. There is also an inherited gene for prostate cancer, affecting 5 to 10 % of all diagnosed cases. While research into genetic testing is promising, it is not yet available.
Current American Cancer Society Guidelines recommendations for screening:
Both the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE) should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy.
Screening will begin with:
- Digital Rectal Exam-part of a regular yearly physical to exam the gland for changes.
- PSA-Prostate Specific Antigen blood test-higher than normal levels may indicate a problem.
And may proceed to the following if your DRE and PSA indicate the need.
- Ultrasound-A small probe inserted into the rectum will take pictures of the gland using sound waves.
- Biopsy-Tissue samples examined by a pathologist to determine the staging of a cancer diagnosis.
The Mayo Clinic recommends a diet low in fat and rich in lycopene and regular exercise.
Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.
More articles on the screening recommendations of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF):
The Wall Street Journal: Prostate Cancer Screening: Making Decisions Without Evidence
Forbes . Com: Do You Need a Prostate Cancer Screening?