Prostate Cancer Screening Efficacy Called into Question

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Routine medical testing has been called into question as of late. Many believe that frequent testing leads to unnecessary treatment. Despite this new perspective, men may want to opt for a prostate screening. “Prostate Cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in men” and it is recommended that men over the 40 receive screening. According to recent findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, screening tests for prostate cancer managed to reduce deaths by 25-32%. (NYTimes.com, 4 September 2017).

It should be noted that, although prostate cancer can be quite aggressive, frequently the cases are not life-threatening. With this in mind, the test’s necessity has been called into question by some. In fact, more doctors seem to be monitoring “low grade” cases of prostate cancer, as appose to recommending treatment.

According to Ruth Etzioni of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center “On average, in the screened population, more men will be over-treated than have their lives saved.” Despite this fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recently adjusted its guidelines for men, stating that prostate cancer screenings should be incorporated into an ongoing conversation at a doctor’s office, rather than complete avoidance with low -risk patients (NYTimes.com, 4 September 2017). Professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute states: “I think the main message is that this is a choice …There’s no single right answer” (NYTimes.com, 4 September 2017).

Source: Iconoculture