The controversy over the utility of the PSA for lowering the prostate cancer continues, which is a good thing because it hopefully will draw men’s attention (better yet, draw women’s attention) to the critical importance of annual testing.
While some members of the medical community continue to comment about “over treating” prostate cancer, approximately 29,000 men die each year in the US from the disease, and the incidence rate for prostate cancer in the 20-49 year cohort is increasing. Spend a few minutes at the National Cancer Institute’s online database (Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results) at http:/seer.cancer.gov/faststats and you will see how much we do not know about this disease – the most current data set is three years old. What I believe it shows is that early detection (note that the PSA test came into use in the early 1990s) has increased the rate of detection and lowered the death rate. The worrying aspect is the continuing rise in PCa incidence in young adult males.
You can find an interesting article about the PSA testing controversy in the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle on this issue at . The author, himself a prostate cancer survivor and the CEO of Soar BioDynamics Ltd., makes the point that rather than discarding the PSA test perhaps we should be using it as part of a more comprehensive diagnostic process. Prostate cancer is still the most common male cancer is the US and is the number two cancer killer in men. Prostate cancer is not the harmless, indolent disease that it is often portrayed. One in every six men will be stricken with disease – perhaps more if the trends in the SEER continue. If you read this post, I like to hear your comments. If you know a man who is 35 or older and not testing, encourage them to begin. Test. Track. Treat. Live.(TM)