Prostate cancer screening now recommended

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force just made an important change to their guidelines.

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If you’re 55 or older, have you had a discussion about a PSA test with your doctor? Because the U.S. Preventive Services Task Forces says you should. Here’s why…

In a shift from a 2012 recommendation, the Task Force now says “screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of dying of prostate cancer.” The official recommendation is for men between the ages of 55 to 69 to be informed by their doctor about the potential dangers and benefits of PSA-based screening. PSA testing is a relatively new medical technology, but it’s rapidly improving to the point that a simple finger-prick test you can do at home can biomarkers like gene and protein expression can predict the prognosis of the disease more accurately.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed and disproportionately impacts black men. While white males account for 122 new cases per thousand men, the number for black males is 205 cases. Black men also don’t survive the disease as much as their white peers; 19 per 100,000 deaths in whites versus 44.2 in blacks.

It remains to be seen whether the Task Force’s recommendations can help lower those numbers.

h/t Bay State Banner

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