PSA screening for prostate cancer to be debated at annual meeting forum


PHILADELPHIA -- Screening for prostate cancer with a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test, though routinely performed today in men middle-aged and older, remains a source of controversy. Questions continue about the test's overall effectiveness and its ability to actually save men's lives.

For example, elevated PSA levels don't necessarily equate with clinically significant prostate cancer. Some men faced with high test results, however, may have undergone unnecessary treatments, with debilitating side effects such as infertility, incontinence and impotence.

For others, a normal PSA has also be misleading. In these cases, undetected prostate cancer has grown and spread to other parts of the body, sometimes resulting in death.

Nevertheless, if caught early, men have a 100 percent, five-year survival rate a surprisingly positive statistic compared to many other types of cancer. Clearly, early detection is a key to curing prostate cancer.

To put this controversy in perspective, a forum on "Controversies in the Screening and Early Detection of Prostate Cancer, will be held on Sunday, April 17, Room 204 Anaheim Convention Center at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The forum will feature two outspoken authorities in the field:

  • Otis W. Brawley, M.D., professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Fritz H. Schroder, professor and chair of the Department of Urology, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    The session will be moderated by:

  • William G. Nelson V, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the departments of Oncology, Urology, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Medicine, Pathology, and Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, at Johns Hopkins University.

    Members of the press are cordially invited to attend this session.

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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