Lowering the age of baseline testing for prostate cancer
TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - New recommendations released today by Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) will empower Canadian males to take a more active role in
monitoring their number one cancer risk: prostate cancer. A recent
nationwide poll showed that while 87% of Canadian men aged 35+ fear
prostate cancer, less than half anticipate being tested in the next 12
months - even though early diagnosis can increase the odds of survival.
"Prostate Cancer Canada recognizes that men need to be better informed
about prostate testing, particularly the Prostate Specific Antigen
(PSA) blood test," says Dr. Stuart Edmonds, VP, Research, Health
Promotion & Survivorship, Prostate Cancer Canada. "To address this
confusion, we conducted an extensive review of the evidence and from
this developed our primary recommendation: Men should get a baseline
PSA test in their 40s instead of waiting until their 50s."
"PSA levels can vary between individuals so a test in the early 40's can
provide a baseline and allow us to better tailor clinical follow-up,"
says Prostate Cancer Canada spokesperson Dr. Rajiv Singal, Urologist at
Toronto East General Hospital and Assistant Professor at the University
of Toronto. "The PSA is an important marker for a disease in which
symptoms are not always present."
PCC also recommends the decision to end PSA testing should be based on
individual risk, rather than an arbitrary cut-off such as age 70. "Men
are living longer and their lives should not be cut short or diminished
by prostate cancer," says Dr. Edmonds. "The decision to end testing
should be a shared decision determined by a man and his primary care
"Some men are at increased risk because of ethnicity (Black African or
Black Caribbean descent), a family history of prostate cancer, or age,"
says Dr. Singal. "Men at high risk should talk to their primary care
provider even earlier than their 40s. However, in my 18 years of
practice, the majority of aggressive cancers have been found in men
with seemingly no risk factors - underscoring the importance of
Canadian men are fearful and uncertain about what to do
Prostate Cancer Canada's recommendations will help to relieve confusion,
uncertainty and fear among Canadian men. An online poll conducted for
Prostate Cancer Canada among men aged 18+ found over half (55%) either
didn't know or under-estimated a man's lifetime risk of developing
Only 16% of respondents were able to correctly identify that a man's
lifetime risk of prostate cancer is 1 in 7.
Almost half (44%) of men admitted being reluctant to be tested for
prostate cancer. Also concerning to Prostate Cancer Canada is that
three-quarters of men (74%) assumed that a positive test result
inevitably leads to treatment. PSA testing is primarily a means of
monitoring prostate health. One abnormal test result does not mean
leaping into treatment.
"We released our recommendations because we believe it is critical for
men to initiate these important discussions with their healthcare
providers," says Rocco Rossi, CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada. "Untreated
and late-stage prostate cancer can have devastating physical and
psychosocial effects and men need to become informed healthcare
consumers and their own healthcare advocates."
"Given the monitoring and treatment options available, it is inexcusable
that prostate cancer should be missed or ignored," adds Dr. Singal. "We
fully appreciate that men may be fearful of the process - but without a
quick check, we can't know what are dealing with. It is critical to
their health and well-being that Canadian men be aware, talk to their
doctors and get tested."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men,
impacting one in seven men over the course of their lifetime. Prostate
Cancer Canada funds critical programs related to awareness and public
education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the
prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer. For more
information visit prostatecancer.ca and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Link to b-roll: http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=732
Video with caption: "Video: B-roll: New prostate cancer recommendations". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130904_C4044_VIDEO_EN_30366.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130904_C4044_PHOTO_EN_30366.jpg&clientName=Prostate%20Cancer%20Canada&caption=Video%3A%20B%2Droll%3A%20New%20prostate%20cancer%20recommendations&title=PROSTATE%20CANCER%20CANADA%20%2D%20Prostate%20Cancer%20Canada%20releases%20new%20recommendations&headline=Prostate%20Cancer%20Canada%20releases%20new%20recommendations
Video with caption: "Video: New prostate cancer recommendations". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130904_C4044_VIDEO_EN_30367.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130904_C4044_PHOTO_EN_30367.jpg&clientName=Prostate%20Cancer%20Canada&caption=Video%3A%20%20New%20prostate%20cancer%20recommendations&title=PROSTATE%20CANCER%20CANADA%20%2D%20Prostate%20Cancer%20Canada%20releases%20new%20recommendations&headline=Prostate%20Cancer%20Canada%20releases%20new%20recommendations
SOURCE: Prostate Cancer Canada
For further information:
Stacy O'Rourke - Maritimes
Holly Roy - Western Canada