In the United States after skin cancer, prostrate cancer causes more male deaths, and there are over one hundred and fifty new cases each year.
Despite the nearly thirty thousand American men that died last year from this disease, a group of doctors do not believe that annual testing is the right approach.
Annually screening males, over fifty years of age, often leads to needless biopsies and there is no hard evidence that it is actually saving any lives.
The test includes a complete physical examination and a sample of blood is taken, this is then analyzed for a prostate specific antigen (PSA) substance.
The results of two different research teams, both carried out on large scales, proved that these routine tests, performed every year, did not do anything to save lives. Although doctors in this field still believe that this type of test could be useful, if it can be used in a better way.
The number of cases of prostrate cancer actually rose significantly in the 80’s when the PSA test was introduced but it is now known that there are a variety of other things that can cause the high presence of this chemical in the blood stream. Something as simple as, sexual activity or even riding a motorbike.
The more useful time for testing is now agreed to be at the age of forty years for all men and then a repeat test every five years. Over a five year period little changes are likely to occur and the American Urological Association’s revised guidelines now reflect that fact.