Take Charge of Your Prostate Cancer Screening Decisions to Minimize Regrets – Late Diagnosis or Premature Biopsy
Are you a passive patient? Or are you eager to take charge of your prostate cancer screening decisions to minimize regrets?
Your primary care physician may advise against prostate cancer screening using the PSA blood test – to avoid premature biopsy, over-diagnosis and side effects. Your urologist may advise PSA testing - to avoid late diagnosis and minimize prostate cancer death risk. Neither may have time for a deep conversation about the implications or about a smart screening process that will require your active leadership.
Consider Three Screening Strategies
Men should consider three cancer screening strategies:
1. Ordinary PSA screening is the least desirable strategy for many men because it is likely to lead to premature biopsy and regrets of over-diagnosis and side effects (such as impotence and incontinence) that are worse than no screening.
2. No PSA screening may make sense for you if you do not have the time and energy to lead a collaborative team effort to achieve smart screening. But no screening can lead to regrets of late diagnosis and death from prostate cancer.
3. Smart screening is a third alternative that uses new technologies and analysis to minimize your risks. The goal is to delay a premature biopsy until further delay is no longer justified for your risk preferences.
Take Charge of Three Key Aspects for Smart Screening
Smart screening may make sense if you are willing to take charge of three key aspects:
Next Blog Post
In my next Blog post, I will discuss why Ordinary PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer Is Worse than No Screening for Many Men.
Tom Neville, PhD, is a prostate cancer survivor with a mission to help men make better decisions. He is a Rhodes Scholar from Yale, Phi Beta Kappa, with a Stanford PhD who has worked with leading prostate cancer researchers.