Cancer specialists are worried men may be confused about the various processes of prostate cancer diagnosis.
Those concerns come with the release of a new study into the necessity of prostate cancer screening.
Camille Bianchi reports.
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The Florida University study claims the risks associated with regular screening for many men outweigh the risks of not being diagnosed.
Urologists support the findings saying that prostate cancer screens have little effect on the longevity on sufferers.
Dr Geoffrey Hirst, Mater Hospital: “Sixty per cent of men who are identified as having prostate cancer actually don’t benefit from having treatment.”
The treatment of prostate cancer has significant side effects including impotence and in some cases incontinence.
Doctors have also identified issues with the test method for the disease, saying that most men diagnosed have such low levels of the cancer, they outlive it without treatment.
Dr Geoffrey Hirst, Mater Hospital: “The blood test is not very sensitive or specific so a lot of people will have a false positive.”
The issue of the validity of screening for prostate cancer has been debated in the medical profession for years. Doctors say when looking at the issue it is important to know the difference between a test and screen.
Screening is the mass testing of people for a disease, whereas a test is offered by a doctor on a case-by-case basis.
In either case doctors say the matter should not be taken lightly.
Dr Geoffrey Hirst, Mater Hospital: “Men should be tested so that we can identify prostate cancer early but they should understand the risks and benefits before they do that.”
Another leading Brisbane Urologist, Dr Peter Campbell, believes there is an industry profit incentive to push screening and the medical industry needs to carefully monitor the actual benefits to patients.
Camille Bianchi, QUT News.