Wyo. Dept. of Health on Prostate Exams: Make an Informed Decision

Wyo. Dept. of Health on Prostate Exams: Make an Informed Decision

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but some recent reports from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have questioned the methods used in detecting prostate cancer.

The Wyoming Department of Health says, though not perfect, PSA screenings are the best thing available in detecting the most diagnosed cancer in men nationwide.

Recent comments made by the USPSTF, a department of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that PSA tests may lead to unnecessary biopsies, for example.

Wyoming Department of Health State Epidemiologist Joe Grandpre says it comes down to making an informed decision.

The task force said that misinterpretation of PSA blood test results can lead to the unnecessary treatment.

Grandpre says the test in itself poses little risk. The PSA test is a simple blood test that's not too invasive, Grandpre says, and the key is reading the results correctly and figuring out what the numbers really mean with your doctor.

Grandpre says that prostate cancer is much more threatening to older men, but at the same time early-diagnosis in younger men is important.

The most recent report from 2009 said 425 men in Wyoming were diagnosed with prostate cancer in that year. The cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the state and nationwide.

The Wyoming Cancer Consortium recommends men 40 and older be screened for prostate cancer.

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