Congratulations for taking the first step to learning more about prostate cancer screening.
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Prostate Cancer Screening
Most prostate cancers are discovered as a result of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and or a digital rectal exam (DRE). Early prostate cancers don’t typically cause symptoms, but more advanced cancers can cause symptoms including:
• Difficulty starting or stopping urine flow
• Increased urinary frequency, particularly at night
• Weak urine flow
• Blood in the urine or semen
• Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
Considerable evidence supports the use of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing as a screening tool. The Urology Group monitors and interprets PSA guidelines that have been developed by a host of national and international expert bodies, including the American Urological Association, the Large Urology Group Practice Association and the European Association of Urology.
Early detection means more options for treatment and an increased chance of survival:
• Prior to the development of PSA testing, 20% to 25% of men presented to doctors with cancer already spreading in their bodies. With PSA testing, that has dropped to 4%;
• With PSA screening, U.S. men achieved a 45% reduction in mortality in prostate cancer, versus an increase in mortality worldwide.
We endorse the following guidelines and concepts regarding PSA testing:
1. Prostate cancer screening must be uncoupled from risks of prostate cancer detection and treatment. Various entities mistakenly assume that a patient with an elevated PSA will undergo an indiscriminate prostate biopsy, and a patient with prostate cancer will inevitably undergo treatment. This is not our policy at The Urology Group.
2. PSA screening facilitates the early detection of prostate cancer, which results in:
· reduced risk of being diagnosed with or developing locally advanced an/or metastatic prostate cancer;
· reduction in prostate cancer-specific mortality
3. A baseline serum PSA level should be obtained from men in their 40s who have made an informed decision to pursue early detection of prostate cancer.
4. The frequency of a patient’s prostate cancer screening should be adapted to:
· the baseline PSA;
· prostate cancer risk factors (including African-American heritage and a family history of prostate cancer);
· the potential for aggressive cancers.
5. PSA screening should be offered to men with a life expectancy of more than 10 years, regardless of age.
We encourage men to see their physicians, discuss their risk factors and when appropriate, get checked for prostate cancer. We hope that families and friends join us in encouraging men to take that preventive step for early detection.