prostate cancer, money, and clinically significant cancer

What in the world is going on here? Statements that proclaim that we “strive to find clinically significant cancer?” O kay. Now what? What would all these organizations have me do now? Let me see. Evaluate the patient, his PSA, the findings of the rectal exam and discuss options regarding management. I would bet that this is what is already happening in urologist’s offices across america. This is what happens in my office. The deal is that asking a patient if he would want to have a PSA done knowing that it might result in finding out he has a prostate cancer but that the cancer may not kill him is a bit “putting the cart before the horse.” A patient might rightfully ask, “Don’t we need to see if I have it all Doc? With the advent of a National Health Care system, who will get what and at what point and at what cost will be the driving issue. Could all this be about money and what does it “cost” to find a clinically relevant prostate cancer? Why aren’t we talking about breasts and colons? I have always felt that the prostate is the Rodney Dangerfield of organs. The PSA is not perfect, but untill we find a marker that will predict “the bad type of cancer” before we even discuss the biopsy, it is the best we’ve got to work with now. And that is where we are.

Complex New Guidelines From Multiple Organizations Confuses Men About Prostate Cancer Screening

04 Mar 2010

Members of America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations are concerned that the issuance this morning of yet another set of new guidelines on screening for prostate cancer is only adding to the confusion most men already feel about whether they should or shouldn’t be tested for the most common form of cancer in American men.

“It is time for us all to come together and make one, straightforward recommendation about screening and early detection of prostate cancer that is easily understood by men and their doctors,” said Thomas Kirk, President/CEO of Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network.

“In the past 12 months we have seen new guidance on prostate cancer screening from the American Urological Association (a professional society), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (a network of cancer centers), and now the American Cancer Society (a cancer nonprofit),” stated Skip Lockwood, President of ZERO The Project to End Prostate Cancer. “Each set of guidelines is complex, and the details in each set of guidance are all slightly different.”

America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations, which seek to act in the best interests of men at risk for prostate cancer and those already diagnosed with this disease, believe that it is high time that the various groups work together to issue one, simple guidance document for men and their families and another for the primary care community. Such guidance should represent a consensus position of the U.S. professional societies and other stakeholders on the risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer, as opposed to the viewpoints of selected groups of specialists.

“These guideline discrepancies only add to the confusion around two key issues when to be screened and what to do with the screening results,” said Wendy Poage, President of the Prostate Conditions Education Council. “By collectively issuing clear guidelines, we can finally address these questions and encourage men to take appropriate steps to safe guard their health.”

“There appears to be significant overlap between the recommendations of the various groups issuing these differing guidelines,” noted Scott T. Williams, Vice President of Men’s Health Network. “The members of America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations are more than willing to work closely with the interested sectors to help to develop standard and simple guidelines that can be universally promoted to men and their families and to the provider community.”

About America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations: Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among American males. Nearly 200,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, and about 28,000 will die from this disease. This group of independent, not-for-profit organizations cooperates to foster the development of policies that support the early detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, the effective treatment of men with this disease, and the appropriate education of all men at risk for this disease.

The above statement has been issued on behalf of and endorsed by:

Malecare Prostate Cancer Support

Men’s Health Network

National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions

Prostate Cancer Foundation

Prostate Cancer International

Prostate Conditions Education Council

The Prostate Net

Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network

Women Against Prostate Cancer

ZERO The Project to End Prostate Cancer

Source: America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations

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