The question of screening is a personal and complex one. It’s important for each man to talk with his doctor about whether prostate cancer screening is right for him.
There is no unanimous opinion in the medical community regarding the benefits of prostate cancer screening. Those who advocate regular screening believe that finding and treating prostate cancer early offers men more treatment options with potentially fewer side effects.
Those who recommend against regular screening note that because most prostate cancers grow very slowly, the side effects of treatment would likely outweigh any benefit that might be derived from detecting the cancer at a stage when it is unlikely to cause problems.
Recent studies of screening in large U.S. and European populations have suggested that the benefits of screening may not occur for 10 or more years after screening, given the long natural history of prostate cancer. These studies also suggest that many men will need to be screened (over 1,000) and treated (nearly 50) to save one life from prostate cancer.
Ultimately, decisions about screening should be individualized based on a man’s level of risk, overall health, and life expectancy, as well as his desire for eventual treatment if he is diagnosed with prostate cancer.
More information about EARLY DETECTION & SCREENING can be found on the Prostate Cancer Foundation website including the latest recommendations, screening and biopsy, and where to find free prostate cancer screening.
- THE PROSTATE
- RISK FACTORS
- PREVENTION & SYMPTOMS
- EARLY DETECTION & SCREENING
- UNDERSTANDING A DIAGNOSIS
- TREATMENT OPTIONS
- LIVING WITH ADVANCED DISEASE
The information above has been supplied by the Prostate Cancer Foundation. For more information about prostate cancer, or to find out more about the Prostate Cancer Foundation, visit www.pcf.org.