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New Guidelines on Prostate Cancer Screening

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 30-Apr-2009

Posted by Jacqueline Colclough

On April 27, 2009, the American Urological Association (AUA) issued new guidelines on prostate cancer screening for men. Contrary to recent advice of other groups, AHA recommends that well informed men aged 40 and over who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years should be offered the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in order to establish a baseline reading and that PSA testing should be individualized rather than a blanket annual test for any man aged 50 and over. These guidelines have been issued amid growing recent controversy regarding when men should start regular PSA screening, how often, and at what point a biopsy is indicated.

These guidelines are set forth in the updated AUA Best Practice Statement, which was first issued in 2000. The main change to the statement is the recommendation that well informed men aged 40 and over who have a life expectancy of 10 years or more should have the option to go in for early detection and risk assessment for prostate cancer.

Dr. Peter Carroll, Chair of the AUA panel that developed the new guidelines, said the most important message is that "[p]rostate cancer testing is an individual decision that patients of any age should make in conjunction with their physicians and urologists.” Prostate cancer, as noted by Dr. Carroll, comes in many forms, some of which are aggressive. "But the bottom line about prostate cancer testing is that we cannot counsel patients about next steps for cancer that we do not know exist."

Please see the American Cancer Society for important information about prostate cancer.  To view the AUA guidelines, please see the 2009 Updated Best Practice Statement.

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