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Prostate Cancer and Screening

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The cited text below is provided for educational/informational purposes only and is not intended for providing professional or medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult a physician.

Information below is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Website

A Public Health Concern
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, other than skin cancer, among men in the United States, and it is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer-related death among men. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2003, about 220,900 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and 28,900 men will die of the disease.

The Facts*

  • About 70% of all diagnosed prostate cancers are found in men aged 65 years or older.
  • Over the past 20 years, the survival rate for prostate cancer has increased from 67% to 97%.
  • The prostate cancer death rate is higher for African-American men than for any other racial or ethnic group.
  • Compared to other racial and ethnic groups, the Asian/Pacific Islander group has relatively low rates of prostate cancer incidence and mortality.
  • Among all racial and ethnic groups, prostate cancer death rates were lower in 1999 than they were in 1990.
  • Decreases in prostate cancer death rates during 1990–1999 were almost twice as great for whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders than they were for African Americans, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and Hispanics.

*American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2003.Prostate Cancer Death Rates,* by Race and Ethnicity, United States, 1990 — 2000
*Rates are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
†Includes Hispanics of any race.

What Is Known About the Effectiveness and Benefits of Prostate Cancer Screening?
The two most common tests used by physicians to detect prostate cancer are the digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. For the DRE, which has been used for many years, the physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. The prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the PSA enzyme.

Although there is good evidence that PSA screening can detect early-stage prostate cancer, evidence is mixed and inconclusive about whether early detection improves health outcomes. In addition, prostate cancer screening is associated with important harms. These include the anxiety and follow-up testing occasioned by frequent false-positive results, as well as the complications that can result from treating prostate cancers that, left untreated, might not affect the patient's health.

Since current evidence is insufficient to determine whether the potential benefits of prostate cancer screening outweigh its potential harms, there is no scientific consensus that such screening is beneficial. The position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in regard to prostate cancer screening is as follows:

  • CDC promotes informed decision making, which occurs when a man understands the seriousness of prostate cancer; understands the risks, benefits, and alternatives to screening; participates in decision making to the level he wishes; and makes a decision about screening that is consistent with his preferences.
  • CDC supports a man's right to discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with his physician and to make his own decision about screening.
  • CDC does not recommend routine screening for prostate cancer because there is no scientific consensus on whether screening and treatment of early stage prostate cancer reduces mortality.

Information above is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Website

Our Test
The test we run at our screenings involves taking a blood sample from the finger -tip and sending it off to a laboratory to have the results determined. We are notified within a couple of weeks of the results, then one of our certified pharmacists contact you and go over the numbers and the impact of the test. You will also be provided with the lab results by mail for you records.