An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against prostate cancer screening for all men, regardless of age, who do not have symptoms. The USPSTF cites concerns regarding the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. According to the USPSTF, evidence indicates that PSA screening offers "a very small potential benefit and significant potential harm" from unnecessary treatment.
The American Cancer Society's guidelines for early detection of prostate cancer recommend that men discuss with their doctors the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of screening for prostate cancer before deciding whether to be tested. The American Urological Association and the American College of Physicians have similar guidelines, which do not recommend the PSA test for men at average risk who are younger than age 55 or older than age 69.
Debate continues over whether the benefits of prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening outweigh the treatment risks for most men. In general, the current consensus is that there is no "one size fits all" guideline for who should receive prostate cancer screening and at what age. It is important to discuss with your doctor your questions and concerns regarding prostate cancer screening.
Follow-Up Care Guidelines
The American Cancer Society has guidelines for the long-term care of prostate cancer survivors. The guidelines recommend:
- Coordinating care between your oncologist and primary care doctor.
- Engaging in healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating nutritious foods.
- Having follow-up tests for PSA levels (every 6 to 12 months for the first 5 years after treatment, and once a year after that), and an annual digital rectal exam.
- Monitoring side effects of cancer treatment including physical (urinary, bowel, and sexual function) and emotional (depression, anxiety).
Supplements Harmful, Not Protective
The most recent analysis from the Selenium and Vitamin E Prevention Trial (SELECT) confirms that selenium and vitamin E supplements do not prevent prostate cancer and can actually increase the risk of developing it.