7 Healthcast: Prostate screenings
Mitch Laurance is a six year prostate cancer survivor, and despite concerns about the PSA test, he thinks every man should at least consider it.
Mitch Laurance, prostate cancer survivor
"Men are hesitant to go ahead and get tested now. The last thing that I wanna see is that they hear this and say 'Oh, see I'm not gonna have a PSA test."
The National Cancer Institute found men who got the psa or a digital rectal exam lived no longer than those who didn't.
Prostate cancer can be deadly, but not all types are harmful.
Many men live and die with slow-growing cancers that don't need treatment.
But screening tests can't tell the difference.
Dr. Otis Brawley, American Cancer Society
"We desperately need research so that we can do a screening test, identify a man with cancer and be able to say 'Mr. Smith, you have the kind of cancer that's never gonna bother you".
Researchers are working on developing better blood tests and pin point imaging for men, like mammograms that can detect breast cancer in women.
Dr. Faina Shtern, Admetech Foundation
"We are very close. We are no more than five years away. But what we need to give that is significant government investment."
They're hoping for 500 million of the stimulus money set aside for research.
In the meantime, the decision about whether to test PSA is being left up to patients and their doctors.
There are some men with family histories or urological problems. Who doctors say should get the test... Even with the risk of over diagnosis. They're concerned these studies don't discourage those patients from being screened.
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