Know this about screening for prostate cancer

Dr. Joseph Sonstein

Dr. Joseph Sonstein

A hot topic in the news this year has been prostate cancer screening and the associated PSA (prostate specific antigen) test. There have been multiple recommendations from multiple sources in the past year or two, and it can be quite confusing to the public as to what to do. And there is controversy.

But as a urologist, I see men with prostate cancer or elevated PSA every day, and I feel that the newly released guidelines by the American Urological Association can help to address some of these controversies.

Since the late 1980s, the PSA test has been used to screen men for prostate cancer. Since that time, we have seen a steady decrease in the death rate from the disease, in part because the PSA test allowed us to find the cancer early enough to treat it. But last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended a wholesale abandonment of prostate cancer screening in men with no symptoms. Continue reading