07 - 08
By Samuel Otachi Abuya
How often do you go for prostate cancer screening? Did you know that routine screening is good and can, actually, reduce deaths a big deal but can, at the same time, lead to over-diagnosis?
Well, that is what the results of a major European study say.
According to the study, routine checkups can reduce deaths associated with prostate cancer by up to a fifth. However, researchers are of the opinion that it is still too early to recommend or back regular screening.
Prostate cancer is classified as the second common cancer in men. In 2008 alone, more than 910,000 prostate cancer cases were reported around the world, a number which is expected to double by the year 2030.
The study also indicated that prostate cancer is, however, very rare among men who fall under the age of 40 years. The risks are said to increase once a person hits 50 years. In America, 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are reported among men of over 65 years.
Researchers say in spite of the fact that there is no specific prostate cancer routine screening program, men can choose to use prostate-specific antigen test, also known as PSA. This test measures the PSA levels in the blood.
High levels of antigens in the blood can lead to the development of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer screening recommendations varies widely. For instance, the US Preventive Task Services Task Force recommends that people should test or rather screen when they have seen any symptoms.
Nonetheless, the American Cancer Society advocates for a screening program whereby men who are of over 50 years go for testing since they at a higher risk of developing the disease. They say such men ought to consult their doctors as far as the screening is concerned.
For the past 13 years, routine PSA screening reduced cancer deaths by 21 percent.
Meanwhile, a research from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, published in the Medical News Today last month, reported that vasectomy increases, though in small amounts, the risks of getting aggressive prostate cancer.
Sources: MNT /