Prostate Cancer Florida Hospital-The Orlando Times
Confused about Prostate Cancer Screenings?
Florida Hospital Specialist Helps Explain the Latest Developments
Screening for prostate cancer is a decision men often make based on risk factors such as age, race and family history. About one in seven will be diagnosed during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. However, about 1 in 36 will die of the disease.
The best modality for reducing mortality over the last two decades has been shown to be the early diagnosis strategy. Earlier diagnosis leads to the diagnosis of cancers in earlier more treatable stages. The best method for screening currently is the use of the combination of PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing and a digital rectal exam.
“PSA tests have been used for routine prostate cancer screening and detection since the early 1990s. It’s a simple test ordered for men over 40 as part of routine annual blood work,” says Vipul Patel, MD, medical director, Florida Hospital Cancer Institute’s Urologic Oncology Program and Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute.
Last summer confusion arose when the US Preventative Services Task Force, a government advisory panel, recommended against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, for all men regardless of increased risk factors.
“Not all prostate cancers are deadly, and the PSA test isn’t perfect, but there’s been a 40 percent reduction in mortality from prostate cancer since the inception of testing, two decades ago” he adds.
“Discouraging PSA testing will lead to fewer men being diagnosed early when the disease is treatable,” he cautions. It does not make any logical sense to completely eliminate screening of a cancer that is the second most common cause of death in men and the elimination of the PSA test that is part of routine blood work and has led to a 40% decline in mortality over the last two decades. This eliminates a mans right to know he has cancer and to make decisions for his family and himself. Until we find better methods of diagnosing prostate cancer and differentiating the lethal vs. non-lethal tumors we have to give me the right to make informed decisions about their own healthcare
Additionally, many large trials have shown a significant risk reduction in deaths secondary to early screening of men with PSA.
Below Dr. Patel recommends asking your doctor and yourself several questions when considering PSA screening for prostate cancer.
Ask your doctor:
What are the pros and cons of PSA testing?
Do I have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer?
At what age should I begin testing?
How long before results are obtained?
If PSA results are normal, will I need to have regular tests in the future?
What is my PSA level? Do I need a digital rectal exam (DRE)?
Are there other medical conditions that can affect my PSA score?
Are you more at risk for prostate cancer?
If the result of your PSA test was normal, would this reassure you?
If your PSA was high, what would you do?
If you went on to be diagnosed, would you consider treatment?
“Having a PSA test is a personal decision you should make after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your preferences,” says Dr. Patel.
For more questions please visit www.globalroboticsinstitute.com