New guidelines out for prostate screening

New prostate screening guidelines

New proposed guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Task Force suggests men should discuss PSA blood tests with doctors on an individual basis.

This is a different take than what they previously recommended years ago, when the task force suggested against prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood tests to screen for prostate cancer.

They say new evidence has them changing their tune on PSA tests, including information from a study back in October that showed doctors could safely monitor a patient's prostate cancer through repeated PSA checks.

PSA tests measure the amount of a certain protein in the blood. Elevated PSA levels could indicate cancer or other benign conditions.

Whether or not to screen has been a hot-button issue, because the treatment for prostate cancer can be more harmful than the cancer itself.

Dr. Todd Brandt with Allina Health's Metro Urology out of Woodbury says the proposed guidelines will be a good thing for those men who want to be tested.

"They should be aware that the PSA test is a screening test for prostate cancer, it might have a false elevation but it's the only test we have that's blood-based that can detect prostate cancer clearly," said Brandt.

The new proposed guidelines are only meant for men who've never had prostate cancer or have no signs or symptoms of the disease.

Men at higher risk for the disease should make it a point to speak with their doctor about whether screening is right for them, including African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer.

The task force updates their guidelines every five years.

They are taking public comment until May 8 and a final draft of the guidelines will likely come toward the end of the year.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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