Recent studies show that in the area of prostrate cancer, unlike other forms early detection does not help with the long term prognosis.
Often men that avail of screening can develop side effects from the various tests.
These were some of the things highlighted in recently published studies.
Factors like age, race and family history should be considered before routine tests are carried out. There is still no actual test available that can tell if a tumor is likely to kill or be successfully treated. Usually prostrate cancer is very gradual and hard to detect, barely affecting a sufferer’s health.
It was hoped that a blood test showing antigen levels could be the breakthrough required in this field. However, the rate of false positives is a big disappointment to scientists working to beat this deadly cancer that kills 27,000 men every year in America.
Of the 220,000 cases diagnosed annually there is an almost 100% survival rate if the tumor can be localized in the gland. If not, the rate reduces a third once the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Urologist Dr. David Penson agrees that the very different course the cancer can take makes determining prognosis much harder.
It is believed that about a quarter of men with prostrate cancer will lead long and healthy lives which is why the over diagnosing of potential victims need to be addressed.
Exposing them to impotence and incontinence, the potential side affects of being treated, could cause more health problems than their actual tumor.