Prostate Cancer Screening: Not So Fast
When you look at screening diagnostic tests to detect the presence of disease, nothing causes more discussion than colonoscopies for colon cancer, mammograms for breast cancer, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer. I was recently at a presentation by a colleague on diagnostic screening tests and whether they are worth it. The discussion that ensued was charged with emotion and logic but eventually it was decided that we as healthcare providers need to provide our patients with the relevant statistics and evidence and then allow them to make their own informed decisions.
Today, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released recommendations for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The report gives PSA testing a “D” grade level and recommends that men should not have routine screening for prostate cancer using the PSA test. The task force based their recommendations on several studies which show that there are 242,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year and 28,000 men will die each year of it. The majority of deaths occur after age 75 years and the PSA test only helps 1/1,000 avoid dying from prostate cancer. The bottom line in the report is that the test itself causes more harm than benefit because the majority of men, who develop prostate cancer, die of other causes. Prostate cancer surgery leaves between 10 – 70 per 1,000 men with the quality of life altering adverse effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and bowel dysfunction (Moyer, 2012).
Whether you agree with the recommendations in this guideline or not, the fact of the matter is that this is a recommendation not written in stone. We need to discuss this recommendation with our male patients and then honor their decisions.
Moyer, V. 2012. Screening for prostate cancer: U.S. preventative task force recommendation statement, Annals of Internal Medicine, May 22, 2012.
Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC
Chief Nurse and Publisher
Wolters Kluwer Health / Medical Research Division
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins / Ovid Technologies
Lisa Morris Bonsall on 5/22/2012 1:52:38 PM
with 0 comments
Latest blog comments
Recently we went to solid color uniforms for all staff depe...12/20/2012
This blog is very nice. i like it. please keep it up.9/19/2012
Great article and your blog template is so cool.
This is a...5/21/2012
Clearly,the patient's comfort is to be given priority h...5/3/2012
Treating physiologic response and patient specific response...4/29/2012
Thanks for this. I found this really helpful for an...4/28/2012
I think the information you provide is very useful for me, ...4/23/2012
This post is really something special and more information ...4/12/2012
me interesa el articulo completo3/22/2012
Hi Catherine - thank your for your comment! Certification d...
About your comments
We welcome comments, discussion, curiosity, and debate. Let us know about your nursing lives and personal experiences. We reserve the right to moderate comments that are intended to sell something or that are inappropriate or hostile.
Views expressed on this blog are solely those of the authors or persons quoted. They do not necessarily reflect Lippincott's NursingCenter.com's views or those of Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.