- Thursday, October 15, 2015
Prostate Cancer Still a Leading Cause of Mortality in Men
Prostate cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in men. In 2015, an estimated 221,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and 28,000 men will die from prostate cancer. Although the incidence of prostate cancer has remained unchanged over the last 25 years, the mortality has decreased by 40+%; this is largely due to the introduction of prostate cancer screening in the early 1990’s. Before screening began, 75% of men presented with cancer spread outside the prostate gland. With screening and earlier detection, fewer than 15% of men present with extension outside the prostate. Prostate cancer screening includes a prostate exam and a blood test called the psa (prostate specific antigen). It is important to note that symptoms do not exist with early stage prostate cancer. However, as simple and relatively inexpensive as the screening is, confusion and debate exists over prostate cancer screening.
Despite fluctuating guidelines, at UCA we recommend annual prostate screening starting at age 40. The decision to stop screening is not based on a specific age but based on the individual patient. The psa should remain <2.5 until one is approximately 60 years old and gradually increase with age. Early detection usually results in better cancer cure and better quality of life. At UCA, we continue to diagnose aggressive prostate cancer in men in their 40’s and men >70 years old. We are now also incorporating modern technology such as MRI imaging and genetic biomarker testing along with the exam and psa blood test. The physicians at UCA continue to strive to provide public awareness and state-of-the-art, patient-centered screening for prostate cancer.
Dr. Charles Bugg