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Should Elderly Men Be Screened For Prostate Cancer?

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that “that men in their seventies had prostate cancer screening nearly twice as often as men in their early fifties, who are more likely to benefit from prostate cancer detection and treatment.” An American Society for Clinical Oncology news release includes this quote:

“Our findings show a high rate of elderly and sometimes ill men being inappropriately screened for prostate cancer. We’re concerned these screenings may prompt cancer treatment among elderly men who ultimately have a very low likelihood of benefitting the patient and paradoxically can cause more harm than good,” said senior author Scott Eggener, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Chicago. “We were also surprised to find that nearly three-quarters of men in their fifties were not screened within the past year. These results emphasize the need for greater physician interaction and conversations about the merits and limitations of prostate cancer screening for men of all ages.”

The US Preventive Services Task Force states that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening in men younger than age 75 years, and it recommends against screening for prostate cancer in men age 75 years or older.

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*


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