The Forum encourages early detection testing to achieve early detection of abnormal conditions and additional education of treatment options before treatment decisions are made when abnormalities are found. Early Detection Matters
LETTER FROM PATRICK C. WALSH, MD*:
Prostate Cancer Testing Is Best Option for Men
Until an alternative exists, prostate cancer testing is the best option we have to allow men to make an informed decision. Disparaging testing does a great disservice. Because prostate cancer produces no symptoms until it’s too far advanced to cure, as appropriate, men should have a PSA test and examination.
In 1990, before PSA testing, only 68% of newly diagnosed men had localized cancer and 21% were metastatic. Today, 91% are diagnosed with localized disease and only 4% have metastases. With the ability to diagnose cancer earlier and treatment advances, U.S. deaths from prostate cancer have fallen 40% in ten years, a greater decline than for any other cancer.
Today, men have a choice that once did not exist: Undergo testing and, if there is cancer, make an informed choice for treatment or observation, or do nothing and run the risk of a diagnosis until it’s too late.
I choose to know.
*Patrick C. Walsh, M.D. is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Reprinted from QUEST Winter 2009 Newsletter – www.drcatalona.com/quest.asp and used courtesy of the Virginia Prostate Cancer Coalition