The guidelines on prostate cancer screenings are being revised, which may leave some Iowa men unsure how to proceed. New studies show a commonly used test, the PSA, can give false-positive results which can lead to unnecessary biopsies. The State Health Registry of Iowa projects 2100 Iowa men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, while 360 Iowa men will die from it. Mike Lefler, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, says one thing men can do is be informed about their options.
“Men should be given the opportunity to learn more about the limitations and benefits of screening and treatment before they actually progress with the screening for prostate cancer,” Lefler says. “This is largely due to the fact the treatment can sometimes be more harmful for prostate cancer than the actual disease and some men may actually live longer based on the fact that prostate cancer is such a slow-growing cancer.” The Registry’s Cancer in Iowa Report says prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer killer of Iowa men, behind only lung cancer. Lefler says men need to follow the advice of their doctor when it comes to testing.
“Definitely, screening can save lives and we’ve seen a great advance in the war on prostate cancer,” Lefler says. “Nearly all prostate cancers are survivable now especially when they are caught early but they can be caught early through other methods, other than the PSA test and other screening processes like this.” Lefler says prostate cancer is different from other types of cancer as it usually moves slowly.
“Automatically, you hear the words ‘you have cancer’ and you go into a state of panic and often times people are overtreated for a disease they may outlive,” Lefler says. “If a man’s life expectancy is less than ten years, they probably shouldn’t be screened for prostate cancer at all.” He says if someone is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is important to follow recommended suggestions.
Learn more at “cancer.org“.