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Prostate Cancer Screening Down
African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly 2.4 times as likely to die from the disease.
But the number of men being screened and diagnosed with prostate cancer has declined in the last few years, according to two new studies. And the decline is even worse for African American males.
Researchers in both studies call the trend worrisome because of the health risk to men who do not know they have cancer.
In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force published recommendations discouraging regular prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, testing for men over age 50. The rationale for the changes was the number of men diagnosed but whose prostate cancer may not be life-threatening, and whose health is then challenged by surgery and treatment they don’t need.
The USPTF said in its report that 90% of men who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer after PSA testing receive some form of early treatment, either surgery, radiation, or androgen deprivation therapy.
About 5 in 1000 men die within a month of surgery, between 10 and 70 of 1000 will survive some type of serious complication, and 200 to 300 of every 1000 will have some type of long-term effect as a result of the early treatment — statistics that led the agency to suggest fewer tests be done as a protection for men who do not need treatment.
Content provided in part by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.