The Value of Prostate Cancer ScreeningIt’s thought that patients who are in these age groups have little to gain from a prostate screening; their prostate cancer risk is moot. Those who are young typically get the diagnosis of lets wait and see and those who are elderly are often beyond the therapeutic age and benefits to treatment are less likely to be worthwhile. Because of this the tests which doctors perform for these categories of people are rushed and/or unthorough.
Interestingly the breakdown of who ordered these tests is quite interesting. Male practitioners specializing in urology who were infrequent PSA testers were most likely to order unwarranted prostate-cancer screenings. For the purpose of the study unwarranted prostate cancer screenings were those that occurred on young patients (under 40) and old patients (over 75). The doctors that stuck to the rule of thumb for prostate cancer screenings most often were attending physicians, nurses and physician assistants.
My Take on Prostate Cancer ScreeningI’ve discussed the prostate cancer screening before and I’ve noted that the wait-and-see treatment is often the way to go if diagnosis is positive. I’ve even noted the many clinically significant findings that show that dealing with enlarged prostate at home is possible for a time at least so this doesn’t surprise me about the inappropriateness of screenings on the under 40 crowd. I would venture to say that it’s probably not worth the time or energy to get your first screenings done early unless you have obvious reason to do so but after 75 years of age I differ… mostly because I feel that 75 is young and human longevity suggests that we can and should plan to live a longer life, another generation past 75 in fact. I would hope my doctor takes the time to do my prostate screening and do it right even when I get into my late retirement years.
Veterans Health Administration - http://www.research.va.gov/news/research_highlights/prostate-090707.cfm