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Health Agencies Update
September 24, 2008

Prostate Cancer Screening

JAMA. 2008;300(12):1403. doi:10.1001/jama.300.12.1403-d

Men aged 75 years or older should not be screened for prostate cancer, and younger men and their physicians should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of such screening, according to a new recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force.

According to the recommendations, there is little to no benefit of treatment for prostate cancer detected by screening in those aged 75 years or older (US Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149[3]:185-191, http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspsprca.htm). In fact, few men aged 75 years or older are likely to have their life expectancy extended by such treatment, yet they may face such negative health consequences from treatment as erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction, and death. Additionally, many men who screen positive for prostate cancer face unnecessary anxiety because they may not develop symptoms within their lifetime.

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