Written BY JENN SINRICH
Fewer men are being diagnosed than ever before
While it’s true that prostate cancer diagnoses are on the decline in the U.S., it’s not entirely for the reason that you think. That’s because this decline is mainly the result of a 2012 change in routine screening recommendations by the U.S. Preventative Task Force. The Task Force concluded that the risks of a PSA test, a blood test that can detect early prostate cancer, were higher than the benefits—that some patients diagnosed with the disease would never have died from it, but the diagnoses would result in surgeries or other therapies that could have side effects and result in other issues. While this change has been met with fewer diagnoses of low-grade and clinically significant prostate cancer, it’s been met with more frequent diagnoses of high-stage, high-grade prostate cancer. “Modern medicine in the U.S. has been successful in decreasing the number of prostate cancer diagnoses for men with insignificant cancer at the expense of missing more aggressive cancers at an earlier stage, meaning now there are more men with incurable prostate cancer than in the past,” explains S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles.