The Most Common Prostate Screening Method Is Obsolete

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This week Dr. Maupin and Brett Newcomb are continuing their conversations about Prostate Cancer, exams, and treatments in aging men.

Most of the updated information comes from a recently published article in Huffington Post. You will find this article linked below so you can read it for yourself.

Link to Huffington Post Article

We find the article to be of particular interest because of its comments regarding the most commonly identified method of prostate screening, the DRE or digital rectal exam. The article mentions that many men resist obtaining their annual screening because they find this exam to be uncomfortable and attempt to avoid it. We do not think this is a good reason for skipping a medical exam to determine if you have a life threatening condition. It is estimated that as many as 26000 American men will die this year from prostate cancer. Do not become at risk to be one of those men by avoiding an exam that may discover you have a problem.

While it is true that most men who develop prostate cancer do not die from it, it is still a risk and it seems to be the intelligent thing to do to know if you are subject to that risk. That is just the beginning of the journey though because then you and your family and your physician must determine a treatment strategy to enhance your survival possibilities and your quality of life. (treated or untreated).

Just a couple of quotations from the article: “They found that the rectal exam did not improve outcomes for most men compared to the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test” “high PSA readings could simply be because the prostate is enlarged or inflamed for reasons that have nothing to do with cancer, such as infection or aging.” “prostate cancer screening results in over diagnosis rates of 17 to 50 percent, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Froce.” “Because of the high risk of false positives, the task force recommended in 2012 to stop routine PSA testing of men in all age groups.”

According to the article “ The truth is, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer will not die from it. For all stages of the cancer, there is almost 100 percent five year survival rate, a 98 percent ten year survival rate, and a 95 percent 15 year survival rate.”

“This means that screening will, at most save the life of one man in a thousand while causing false positives in up to 120 men per 1000. About 110 men in 1000 will go on to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and of these, about 90 percent will choose treatment that could cause serious cardiovascular events, deep venous thrombosis, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and death.”

Prostate Cancer can kill you. Treatment is risky, false positives are too common. The questions you must answer are will you ignore your risk? Will you be tested and if so by what methods? If diagnosed, what treatment if any will you seek? These are serious questions that you and your physician should discuss in detail.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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