More Prostate Cancer Test Advice - for Some Men
There's more advice on the contentious issue of prostate cancer screening: A leading group of cancer specialists says the decision hinges in part on a man's life expectancy.
Doctors should discuss the possible pros and cons of those PSA blood tests with men expected to live longer than another 10 years, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommended Monday.
That's a contrast from guidelines issued this spring by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which recommended against routine PSA screening for all men. That government advisory panel found little if any evidence that PSA testing saves lives - and said too many men suffer impotence, incontinence, heart attacks, occasionally even death from treatment of tiny tumors that never would have killed them.
In its own review, the oncologists' group ASCO concluded that doctors should discourage PSAs for men with less than 10-year life expectancy, for those very reasons.
But it didn't find the evidence as clear-cut for younger or healthier men - and released a step-by-step guide, in easy-to-understand language, to help them and their primary care physicians understand the controversy and make an informed decision. The new advice echoes guidelines from the American Cancer Society.