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Prostate Cancer Studies Offer Support For And Against Testing

07/30/12

  11:54:21 am, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Prostate Cancer Studies Offer Support For And Against Testing

The debate regarding the usefulness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests rages on, with separate research offering evidence for both the “pro” and “con” camps:

  • According to WebMD, a study suggests that routine PSA tests can catch prostate cancer before it spreads, potentially sparing 17,000 Americans each year the worst form of the disease.

    Researchers compared data from the years 1983-85 – a period preceding widespread PSA testing – to 2006-08. They found that men getting their first diagnosis of the disease in the earlier period were three times more likely to learn they had late-stage metastatic prostate cancer, which is typically fatal within two years or less.

    “By not using PSA tests in the vast majority of men, you have to accept you are going to increase very serious metastatic disease threefold,” says study leader Edward Messing, MD, chief of urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

  • Men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from heart disease or other conditions than from their cancer, a Harvard School of Public Health study finds.

    HealthDay News reports that, according to study researchers, men who live a healthy lifestyle that helps prevent chronic disease can prolong their lives even if they have the disease.

    “We hope it will encourage physicians to use the diagnosis as a teachable moment to encourage men to modify lifestyle factors, like losing weight, increasing physical activity and stopping smoking,” explained Mara Epstein, a postdoctoral researcher at the school.

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