Confused About Prostate Cancer Screening? Mayo Clinic Expert Helps Explain the Latest

Released: 13-Jun-2012 1:55 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Mayo Clinic
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Newswise — ROCHESTER, Minn. -- There is a lot of conflicting advice about prostate cancer screening. A recent U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation against prostate-specific antigen testing, regardless of age, has added to men’s confusion about how to protect themselves from a cancer that hits roughly 240,000 new patients every year and claims 28,000 lives.

Mayo Clinic urologists recommend a personalized approach to determining whether or not a patient should consider PSA screening for prostate cancer. This approach should begin at age 40 and include:

* Individual and family medical history.
* The patient’s age, recognizing the age-related increase in cancer risk.
* The patient’s ethnic background, noting that African-American men have the highest risk of prostate cancer.
* A discussion of the pros and cons of PSA screening.
* Other medical conditions that can affect PSA score.

Organizations that recommend PSA screening generally encourage the test between ages 40 and 75 and in men with a higher risk of prostate cancer, says Mayo urologist Jeffrey Karnes, M.D.

“It may be a simple test but it’s not a simple decision,” Dr. Karnes says. “A PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences.”

Cancer overall is the No. 2 health threat to men. June is Men’s Health Month, highlighting health issues of particular concern to men and strategies for prevention and treatment.

Dr. Karnes and other Mayo Clinic urologists are available for media interviews about prostate cancer screening strategies for men in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s that take into account the pros and cons of PSA testing. They’re also available to talk about new gene-based prostate cancer screening tests on the horizon.

To interview Dr. Karnes or another Mayo Clinic urologist, please contact Joe Dangor in Public Affairs at 507-284-5005 or email newsbureau@mayo.edu.

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About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
As one of the leading institutions funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center promotes basic and clinical research on the incidence, causes and progression of cancer and translates discoveries into improved methods for prevention, detection, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org/about/ and www.mayoclinic.org/news.


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