Health Day Reporter
Tuesday, December 20 (HealthDay News)-The public is naturally confused as experts change courses on cancer screening guidelines such as mammograms and prostate-specific antigen testing.
As one US organization suggests, a 40-year-old woman wonders if she should take a mammogram to look for breast cancer or wait until she’s 50. Men of the age of developing prostate cancer may be told to stop testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), contrary to standard past practices. Also, sexually active women may not feel safe from cervical cancer if they wait for years between Papanicolaou trials.
Dr. Robert Mayer, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said:
Based on new studies, some major cancer groups are advising healthcare professionals to be more wise about who will be tested when.
Dr. David Penson, a professor of urology surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and head of research on the quality and results of surgery, said:
Perhaps the most controversial recommendation came from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the government agency that publishes screening guidelines. It caused anger when the mammogram announced two years ago that it might not benefit women in their 40s, but women aged 50-74 are safely screened every two years instead of every year. I was able to receive it.
This year, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Medicine released similar recommendations for breast cancer screening, suggesting that women aged 40 to 49 years at average risk of breast cancer do not get regular mammograms.
Of course, this goes against long-standing wisdom that all women over the age of 40 should receive a mammogram each year.
These tissues believed that mammograms could cause false positives and unnecessary biopsies, and in some cases outweigh the benefits of this type of screening. Soaring medical costs can also influence decision making.
However, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have been advocating screening since the age of 40.
“There is no tendency among many organizations to step back from screening approval,” said Robert Smith, senior director of cancer management at the American Cancer Society. “Frankly, I see it in one.”
However, because the tests are far from complete, many unnecessary biopsies are done, and medical institutions are moving away from PSA screening for prostate cancer.
Elevated PSA levels may indicate cancer, but they are not an absolute surefire measure. PSA levels rise naturally as men get older, Mayer explained. Levels can also increase if a man has had a few sexual experiences in the last few days.
“There are a huge number of false positives,” Mayer added. “So how do you say good things to everyone?”
And not all prostate cancers are made the same, some are very aggressive and some are very slow growing. According to some doctors, invasive treatment can be more harmful than watching.
“We know that less than 10 percent of men with prostate cancer die of the disease,” Mayer said. “It’s very different from colon cancer, where 40 to 50 percent die from it, or breast cancer, where 30 to 40 percent die from it.”
Both Breast and Prostate Cancer Conclusions: Check with your healthcare provider for the best screening schedule for you.
Cervical cancer screening guidelines have also evolved over the years.
In October, three groups, including the American Cancer Society, jointly developed guidelines calling on women to reduce screening for cervical cancer throughout their lives.
The guidelines also call for a combination of the Papanicolaou test and the HPV (human papillomavirus) test in women over the age of 30, with more emphasis on the HPV test than the guidelines officially published by the USPSTF at the same time.
However, the issue here is not very controversial. “There are more sensitive tests for the ability to detect slow-growing diseases,” Smith said.
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Source: Dr. Robert Smith, Senior Director of Cancer Management, Atlanta Cancer Society. Dr. Robert J. Mayer, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. David Penson, MD, Professor, Urology Surgery and Director, Surgical Quality and Results Study, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Understand the latest information on cancer screening
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