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JAMA Patient Page
November 17, 2015

Prostate Cancer Screening

JAMA. 2015;314(19):2096. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15295

Smarter screening for prostate cancer requires a patient’s knowledge about this condition and active involvement in the decision-making process.

Cancer screening is the process of searching for a cancer before the disease becomes too advanced. Many prostate cancers grow slowly and never become life threatening. One problem with screening for cancers is that there is no sure way to know if the cancer that is found is one that will not cause illness or if it is a cancer that will be life threatening. Some experts question whether truly slow-growing prostate cancers should be called “cancer” at all. Some prostate cancers found by screening are aggressive, have the ability to spread, and can lead to death. These are the forms of prostate cancer that screening aims to discover.

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