More than 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that negatively affect their quality of life.
• Over 50% of men in their 60s and as many as 90% in their 70s or older have symptoms of an
enlarged prostate (BPH).
• Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die of it.
• Prostatitis is an issue for men of all ages and affects 35% of men aged 50 and older.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality in men in the United States, and the second leading cause worldwide.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was discovered in the 1980s as the most important and most recognized blood marker of all cancers. It is critical for assessing disease activity of prostate cancer and risk once the cancer is diagnosed, and for follow-up after cancer treatment. Its value in that role is unchallenged. In the early 1990s, annual screening using PSA of men over the age of 40-50 was recommended as it was proven that PSA screening results in a higher detection rate of prostate cancer than digital rectal exam only.
Discovering earlier stages of prostate cancer, like almost all cancers, results in more successful treatment. PSA screening therefore was predicted to result in decreased mortality. In this era of routine PSA screening since that time, overall mortality from prostate cancer has indeed decreased.
There has been much recent debate in both the scientific community and lay press about the value of PSA screening. This has been quite confusing to patients, and to physicians themselves.
Here at Urology Austin, we are well aware of this debate. However, we want to make a clear consensus statement supporting continued prostate cancer screening including PSA testing, according to the American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines for age, risk, and PSA level below. Ultimately the choice to screen is an individual decision between the patient and his primary physician or urologist. We welcome referral of any patient to Urology Austin for consultation to assist in this initial discussion, as well as, of course, referral for further evaluation/biopsy of screened patients based on their PSA profile or DRE findings.