No Longer the "Butt" of a Frat Joke?
ATLANTA – New advice from the American Cancer Society puts a sharper focus on the risks of prostate cancer screening, emphasizing that annual testing can lead to unnecessary biopsies and treatments that do more harm than good.
The cancer society has not recommended routine screening for most men since the mid-1990s, and that is not changing. But its new advice goes farther to warn of the limitations of the PSA blood test that millions of American men get now. It also says digital rectal exams should be an option rather than part of a standard screening.
The new advice is the latest pushback from routine screening to hunt for early cancers. Last year, a government task force said most women don't need mammograms in their 40s and a doctors group said most women in their 20s don't need annual Pap tests.
American men have long been urged to have prostate cancer screenings, but over time studies have suggested that most cancers found are so slow-growing that most men could have avoided treatment.