There is a lot of conflicting advice about prostate cancer screening. A recent U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation against prostate-specific antigen testing, regardless of age, has added to men's confusion about how to protect themselves from a cancer that hits roughly 240,000 new patients every year and claims 28,000 lives.
Mayo Clinic urologists recommend a personalized approach to determining whether or not a patient should consider PSA screening for prostate cancer. This approach should begin at age 40 and include:
* Individual and family medical history.
* The patient's age, recognizing the age-related increase in cancer risk.
* The patient's ethnic background, noting that African-American men have the highest risk of prostate cancer.
* A discussion of the pros and cons of PSA screening.
* Other medical conditions that can affect PSA score.
Organizations that recommend PSA screening generally encourage the test between ages 40 and 75 and in men with a higher risk of prostate cancer, says Mayo urologist Jeffrey Karnes, M.D.
"It may be a simple test but it's not a simple decision," Dr. Karnes says. "A PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences."
Source: Mayo Clinic