More men could receive PSA blood tests for prostate cancer under revised guidelines released Tuesday by the nations leading panel on preventive medicine.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends that men aged 55 to 69 decide for themselves whether to undergo a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, after talking it over with their doctor.
This blood test looks for a protein produced by the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid. Cancerous prostate tissue produces higher levels of PSA.
Until now, the task force has taken a hardline stance that no men receive PSA screening for prostate cancer.
Thats because relatively few men diagnosed with prostate cancer die from the often slow-moving illness. On the other hand, treatment frequently results in erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
However, new data shows that more men are opting for active surveillance not treatment of their diagnosed prostate cancer, making screening potentially less harmful, said USPSTF Vice Chair Dr. Alex Krist.
Under active surveillance, doctors do not treat the cancer but instead keep a watchful eye on it to make sure it doesnt ...