Prostate Cancer Screening Remains Highly Debated

While the USPSTF recommended against screening for prostate cancer, citing the high rate of false positives, complications from biopsy, and side-effects of aggressive treatment for a sometimes slowly-progressing disease, several medical organizations disagree.

Only 17% of top-ranked consumer health websites advise against screening for prostate cancer, a recommendation made more than 2 years ago by the US Preventive Services Task Force, according to a study presented at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

In an Internet search for the phrase "prostate cancer screening" on 3 main US search engines, study researchers found that most sites appearing on the first results page recommended a patient-individualized approach to screening.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men besides skin cancer, affecting one in 7 American men over their lifetime according to the American Cancer Society.1 Screening, which is routine testing in the absence of symptoms, can detect prostate cancer early. Screening tests for this cancer are the prostate-specific antigen blood test, a digital rectal exam, or both.

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