Actor Ben Stiller had prostate cancer. This shouldn’t come as a major shock as more than 180,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with this disease every year. That’s 1 in every 7 men diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in his lifetime. But, what is so significant about Mr. Stiller going public with his disease is his emphatic message about the importance of prostate cancer screening and early detection. He says, “Taking the PSA test saved my life. Literally.”
[Read his artcle: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-prostate-cancer-test-that-saved-my-life_us_57f3d3e4e4b0d0e1a9a9e453?section=&]
“It is both brave and generous that Mr. Stiller has shared his personal prostate cancer story,” said Benjamin Lowentritt, M.D., medical director of Chesapeake Urology’s prostate cancer program. “Prostate cancer survivors are our most important resource in the continued effort to battle this disease. His analysis of the controversies surrounding PSA screening is particularly important. Instead of limiting access to a simple blood test, we should be encouraging doctors to have discussions with their patients about prostate cancer and continue our efforts to find this disease when it is still curable.”
Disparities Remain Among Screening Guidelines for Prostate Cancer
The American Cancer Society prostate cancer screening guidelines recommend a PSA test for men at average risk at age 50; for men at high risk (including African American men) at age 45; and for men at very high risk (first degree relative with prostate cancer at an early age) at age 40. However, many men fall somewhere in between and the PSA screening guidelines can get a bit fuzzy.
Chesapeake Urology prostate cancer screening recommendations include:
The American Urological Association (AUA) and Chesapeake Urology recommend that a baseline PSA screening begin at age 40, with annual screening beginning at age 50. If significant risk factors such as a strong family history or African American race are present, then annual screening should be considered on a regular basis after age 40.
Read Chesapeake Urology’s complete prostate screening recommendation here.
Let's continue Mr. Stiller's open dialogue about the importance of prostate cancer screening. Talk to your doctor about whether or not screening is right for you.