Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September 22, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

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National Prostate Cancer Awareness month is a chance to bring awareness of a disease that is the most common cancer in men after lung cancer, affecting one in six men in the U.S.

Did you know?

  • The prostate cancer patient is rarely under the age of 40, usually over 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.

August 5, The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its recommendations regarding prostate cancer screening.

Summary of Recommendations:

  • 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.”

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.

All About Choices:

Is prostate cancer screening right for you?

The decision is yours.

To help men aged 50 years or older understand both sides of the issue. The CDC has several helpful booklets to assist in the prostate cancer decision process.

  • Prostate Cancer Screening: A Decision Guide presents a balanced approach to the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening and enables men, their families, and physicians to make a decision that is right for them.
  • Prostate Cancer Screening: A Decision Guide for African Americans targets African-American men. At all ages, African-American men die of prostate cancer more often than other men do. The reasons for the variation among groups are unknown, making it critical that African-American men know the facts about prostate cancer and the available screening tests.

For More Information on Prostate Cancer Awareness Month:

ZERO: The Project To End Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Awareness Net

The Prostate Cancer Education Council

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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