When it comes to prostate cancer, a decreased number of men know details about pros and cons regarding PSA testing. Statistics show that less than one-third of men in the United States have reported having a talk with their health care provider about the pros and cons of PSA test. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing helps screen prostate cancer.
- Very few men really know the risks and benefits of Prostate-specific antigen testing.
- Health care providers should make sure that their patients are well informed.
- Before choosing to undergo the test or not, men should know all the pros and cons.
The new survey was published on March 18 in Urology journal, but it was conducted in 2014. George Turini III, MD, clinical instructor in medical science at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, stated that in 2014 only 30% of men were fully educated about the benefits and the risks of PSA testing. This is a pretty concerning result.
Joseph Renzulli II, MD, the co-author of the study and an associate professor of surgery, Minimally Invasive Urology Institute at Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island, claimed that men are not really familiar with the concept of shared decision making, asking their health care provider questions about prostate cancer screening to find out the risks. The new study’s results are worrisome since all major physician groups underline the importance of shared decision making.
They recommend that healthcare providers should discuss the benefits and risks brought by PSA testing before the patient makes his decision to proceed with the test or not. Undergoing this PSA test might unfold some risks that some may not be ready to assume. This advice comes from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Physicians, the American Cancer Society and the American Urological Association.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has revised its guidelines and recommended health care providers to discuss and individualize the cases where people with ages between 55 and 69 need to choose between undergoing the PSA test or not. Not holding these discussions with patients and not presenting them the risks and value of PSA testing before undergoing the screening is a serious problem.
Nevertheless, investigators argue that if health care providers and physicians will act upon the problem, everything will be ok. They need to avoid gathering a massive group of patients who do not know how to handle the repercussions of prostate cancer.
Image source: flickr