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A Place for the PSA Test

A Place for the PSA Test

Dr. Daniel Lin, Chief of Urologic Oncology, discusses the recent controversy about PSA screening for colon cancer, following negative recommendations by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF). Dr. Lin feels it was a premature recommendation to stop PSA screening, but rather should have called for no automatic or routine PSA screening in every man. He believes the decision should be made on an individual basis between a man and his doctor, based on his personal situation and risk factors. Dr. Lin does recognize points in the USPSTS study that have merit, including the concern of over treating men with low-grade or slow-growing tumors. He feels it is important to unlink diagnosis with treatment, and learn to screen smarter such as with less frequency, by developing new biomarkers and embracing active surveillance over treatment in about half of the cases. Dr. Lin also discusses some of the issues with the two major screening trials that he feels skewed the results.

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PSA Screening (1)

The Importance of Regular Prostate Screening Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in men today. One in six men in their lifetime will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The best method of early detection is screening. Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening--that includes a rectal exam where we feel the prostate through the rectum, and a PSA or a prostate-specific antigen blood test. There are a lot of reasons why a man might have an elevated PSA and cancer is just one of them. We use the PSA test to figure out what a person's risk is for prostate cancer.

PSA Screening (2)

The Importance of Regular Prostate Screening In early prostate cancer there are no symptoms. A simple detection method is the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Any healthy man under the age of 65 can benefit from early prostate cancer detection. In general, men over 50 years of age should be screened annually; men with a family history of prostate cancer and African Americans should start screening earlier, generally at 40 years.