December 18, 2015 – Should You?

December 11, 2015

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Anchor lead:  If you’re a man, should you have PSA screening to test for prostate cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

PSA screening has fallen out of favor among many US health officials, with a recent study showing just how much prostate cancer diagnoses have dropped in the wake of reduced PSA testing.  But Ballantine Carter, a prostate cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says the strategy called ‘active surveillance’ could be employed instead.

Carter: Active surveillance rates have increased dramatically in this country from less than 10% in 2010 to now 40% in 2012. I would encourage someone between age 50, 55 to 69, to seriously consider PSA screening, once they heard about the potential harms, and then if there was a diagnosis made, they have the option of monitoring very carefully and not treating the cancer, if it looks like it’s not going to be a risky kind of cancer.  :29

Carter and other prostate cancer experts are worried that if men simply reject screening altogether, many more cases of advanced prostate cancer will show up some years later.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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