Sunday, December 08, 2013

Prostate cancer screening: what's the big deal?

Why get screened?
1: Can detect early stage prostate cancer
2: Can prevent death from prostate cancer.
3:Can prevent sickness from advanced prostate cancer.

Why not get screened?
1: can lead to unnecessary and painful testing
2 can lead to sickness and death from the testing itself though this is rare. 
3: can lead to detection of prostate cancers that don't need to be treated
4: can lead to over treatment with surgery and radiation.  
5: can lead to sickness and death from the treatments themselves rather than the cancer
6: treatments can render young men impotent and incontinent
7: waiting to screen until age 55 for most people may prevent the bad aspects of screening without making more likely that a man will die from or get sick with prostate cancer.   

So, the choice is yours.   Screen or not?