According to information from a published report from the Tuesday, July 19, 2016 edition of HealthDay News, there has been an explosion of new cases of advanced prostate cancer in the United States. They reported on a study using data on nearly 800,000 men listed in the National Cancer Data Base who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2013. They concluded that new cases of advanced prostate cancer have skyrocketed by 72 percent in the past decade.
They reported that the biggest increase was in the age group of men between 55 to 69 years. They point out that this rise is very concerning and was probably unnecessary because in many cases, PSA screening for prostate cancer has not been available to these men this age group. This age group is the ones who may have benefited most from early screening and early treatment that is no longer available to them as a result of the downgrading of the PSA test by the United State Preventive Task Force (USPTF).
The researchers performing the study, with lead researcher Dr. Edward Schaeffer, who is chair of Urology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago whose results are reported by HealthDay said, “The increase could be because the disease is becoming more aggressive, or it could be because there is less screening being done, but we don’t know why.”
Dr. Schaefer is clearly not a fan of the decision made by the USPTF. “My major issue with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation was it completely excluded the patient from the decision-making process,” Schaeffer said. “PSA screening saves lives, period.”
According to the research findings, men who were diagnosed in 2013 versus 2004 had higher PSAs — twice as high — which imply that these men were not well screened, Schaeffer said.
In the interest of being balanced, he also pointed out that since advanced cancer cases began increasing before the change in the screening recommendation, researchers can’t definitively link the increase in cases to reduced screening alone.
Malecare firmly recommends that all men should talk with their doctor about being screened for prostate cancer. If your doctor recommends that you not have a PSA test you should still insist that he provide it to you. Those doctors you simply refuse to give you a PSA test should be replaced by a doctor who does care about your health.
Malecare believes that doctors need to be better trained to use the information provided by a abnormal PSA test so that the potential harms of over treatment can be completely avoided while we can diagnosis men with prostate cancer in need of treatment before it moves on to the lethal advanced stage.