Prostate Cancer Screening Is Not Worth The Risks
According to a U.S. panel, funded by the government, screening prostate cancer, which is used by 50 percent of men over 40, is not worth the negative side effects, caused by the treatments that aren’t necessary and should not be used as a way to diagnose the cancer.
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force says that studies have suggested that the amount of deaths avoided by the screening process are very insignificant, when compared to the treatment risks, which include erectile dysfunction, death and infections.
In 2011 prostate cancer was diagnosed in around 250,000 patients wherein 33,700 of them died, according to the task force. This type of cancer is the second most common type found among men in America, and the guidelines could affect whether insurance companies will fund blood tests to measure PSA, a protein associated with the disease.
The 16-doctor panel wrote in a report which was released Monday by the Annals of Internal Medicine that a lot of men were subjected to the harmful aspects of prostate cancer treatments that will never become symptomatic, and there is strong evidence that PSA screening is a cause of significant over-treatment.
The report recommended that screening for men of all ages, should be discontinued, citing the slow growth of prostate tumors and the false-positive rates that are sometimes as high as 80%.
The report said that although doctors can still suggest the PSA tests for prostate cancer screening, they need to be prepared to discuss the potential negative side-effects. As well, employer or community offered mass screenings should be stopped, according to the group.
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