Preventing Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin related cancer among men, and the second leading cause of cancer death in men.  In May 2013, the AUA released a new Clinical Practice Guide on the Early Detection of Prostate Cancer.  We understand that patients may be curious as to how the guideline may affect their decision to be screened for prostate cancer and you, as the patient, should direct your concerns to your health care provider.

Screenings

The guideline does not recommend routine screenings in men of all ages but, rather, recommends that health care providers utilize a more targeted approach to screening.  The decision to test should be made in the context of a conversation between a man and his health care provider.  Key points to the guideline include:

  • The greatest evidence of benefit of routine screening for men of average risk was found in men ages 55 to 69.
  • Men at increased risk, such as African Americans or those who have positive family history (father or brother), should be screened more closely.
  • Routine screening in men under age 40 is not recommended.
  • There was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening in men of average risk ages 40 to 54.  We urge these men to discuss screening with their providers.
  • Routine screening is not recommended in men ages 70+ years or in men with less than a 10 to 15 year life expectancy.