Men have always gone for screening of the prostate as a way of reducing the chances of being affected by the disease. In fact, in the last few years, the number of men going for the screening has been increasing owing to increased awareness campaigns and better screening methods. However, this is bound to change thanks to a recent publication from an influential panel appointed by the government.
According to the study undertaken by the American Cancer Society (ACS), early screening of prostate cancer doesn’t come with any major benefits. The panel states that the cancer is less likely to affect people aged below 55 years and will usually have no significance on the individual. Though the tests have no real benefits to the younger people, the person being tested is exposed to the side effects.
It is true the blood tests and other examination may help detect cancer of the prostate. Nonetheless, it was discovered that a very small fraction actually got cancer before the age of 55. Statistics indicate that approximately one out of seven men will get the disease during their lifetime, and 27,000 cases will endup in death. But early testing has no significance since younger people aren’t affected as much as older men.
Following the conclusion from the government-appointed team, many people have stopped going for the screening since it has little benefits and puts them at risk. Ahmedin Jemal, researcher at American Cancer Society and author states that low cases of people going for screening doesn’t mean the scourge has declined. It is only that people have ceased going for the screening in contrast to the earlier days.
The studies which were published in the American Medical Association Journal showed a dip in early prostate cancer despite the fact that technology has improved. The main reason is said to be the ineffectiveness of the technology in accurately diagnosing the cases. Many patients got the cancer although the screening showed zero or minimal effects.
Critics believe that though the report on the ineffectiveness of early screening or prostate cancer is based on research, it may actually influence the spread and growth of the disease. With younger men becoming victims of cancer of prostate and a higher number declining to go for early testing, undetected cases will increase and will lead to rise in cases of cancer.
The general consensus is for more research to be undertaken so as to find how best to screen men and also getting more accurate results.