A University of Iowa researcher is working on a way to streamline the testing for the most prominent non-skin cancer among men. Dr. Badrinath Konety says they’re focusing on the need for screening among older men. Konety says there’s a lot of controversy over whether screening for prostrate cancer can help prevent death in any man. For men over the age of 75– the life expectancy is 10 years — and Konety says you’re often more likely to die from other causes even if you’re found to have prostate cancer. Konety says his research is looking at preventing the anxiety, and maybe damage, created by treating prostate cancer in men over 75 when the treatment isn’t needed. Konety says they want to streamline the way they test for prostate caner in older men by being sure the men will be around another 10 years. He says they use tools to assess how fit the men are. Konety says they want to focus on the treating the health problems that’ll have the most long-term impact. He says they want to give care to the men who need the care and avoid unnecessary complications and anxiety, making treatment more effective and cost effective. Konety says the revamping of the guidelines also involves educating patients. He says they want to advise patients that prostate screening may not be necessary for men over 75 and why being selective about screening is important. Konety says this could be a groundbreaking study. Konety says this is the first time such a program aimed at older people has been done, so he says they don’t know how well it will work. The three year study is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Iowa has one of the highest proportions of men age 75 and older in the country.
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