The debate continues on how often men screen for prostate cancer. Since 2012, the US Preventive Services Task Force has recommended doctors and patients against the regular screening of prostate cancer. This was welcome by few doctors who feel that it can reduce false alarms and unwanted treatment for men. On the other hand, it is feared that would cause more number of deaths due to prostate cancer. The reason being the tumor would be unfound until the disease has progressed. In such cases, no one is aware of the result.
Two studies were released on Tuesday that highlights the effects of not undergoing screening. In both these studies, there is a sharp drop in prostate cancer testing and there is also a fall in men diagnosed with the disease. Commenting on the recommendation Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at American Cancer Society informs that people did not take the recommendations of the USPSTK seriously. The test for prostate cancer called prostate specific antigen that test for the tumor. The protein level in the blood can indicate the tumor. Though, it can be high due to urinary tract infection as well.
According to the recommendations of Task Force, the testing does not reduce death due to prostate cancer and it causes unnecessary discomfort. The reason indicated is that men get treated tumors through radiation, biopsies, and surgery that actually it is not life threatening. In most cases, the treating leaves men incontinent and impotent. In some cases, it can cause life threatening consequences.
The recent research that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association informs that PSA screening fell by 18 percent in men above 50 years in comparison with 2013 when it was 31 percent and 2010 when it was 38 percent. David Penson of Vanderbilt University fears that the recommendation against screening can increase deaths due to prostate cancer.