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New Research Findings
USPSTF PSA Screening

Advanced Disease
Localized Disease
Metastatic Disease

Behind the Headlines-05

(Published January 8, 2014, The Siuslaw News)

Us TOO Florence, the local prostate cancer education and support chapter, has been posting a small ad in the Siuslaw News VOLUNTEER DIRECTORY which states: Saving men - one PSA test at a time. That is a pretty powerful statement, especially when one reads that in 2012 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that men should not be screened for prostate cancer at any age and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) concurred.
So, how does Us TOO Florence come off making such a statement when a government task force and even a doctors' association are opposed to using it?
The first thing that comes to mind is that we are "insiders," the recipients of timely PSA screening for prostate cancer. We are now in a position to know how specialists deal with prostate cancer. We've joined the club and paid our dues. We're the men who have "been there - done that."
We have seen and experienced the difference between prostate cancers diagnosed because of an asymptomatic PSA test versus those diagnosed after men developed physical symptoms. We totally understand the life-saving diagnostic usefulness of the PSA test in raising red flags (or at least, caution flags) signaling to doctors that something needs to be checked - before the body starts sending symptom signals of "real" problems. Knowing that men feel great while the prostate cancer silently grows to an incurable stage (for as long as 8 -10 years) calls for a, "Hey, something is going on down here," signal. Yes, thank goodness for the PSA test.
Here's another thing...Urologists use their training and expertise to see what is going on, something which we survivors can fully understand and appreciate. For some reason, the USPSTF and AAFP can't trust the urologists to do what they were trained to do. Not only that, they don't understand that urologists are making continual progress in assessing elevated PSAs, determining when a biopsy is called for and, if prostate cancer is detected, following a conservative approach to treatment or active surveillance. Why is this so easy for us to see and comprehend? We hear about it...see it...experience it. Those of us who "joined the club" ten, fifteen, or more years ago have listened to urologists describe it and have personally witnessed the progress as new men go through the elevated PSA/diagnosis/treatment experience.
Attendees at Us TOO Florence meetings (and they are open to anyone who wants to attend), have life-saving opportunities. Where else could one spend up to 2.5 hours per month discussing general and very personal questions about the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer in men which is also the second most frequent cause of cancer death in men, namely prostate cancer? With Dr. Bryan Mehlhaff attending our evening meetings and Dr. Doug Hoff at our lunch meetings, we have two excellent urologists keeping us up-to-date and answering our questions. Since Dr. Mehlhaff has made prostate cancer his specialty, he brings us the very latest information related to all aspects of prostate cancer.
Us TOO Florence has been the recipient of over 100 hours of Dr. Mehlhaff's time and more than 20 hours of Dr. Hoff's. Is it any wonder that we are not fearful of the PSA test starting men on a downward slide to a biopsy, diagnosis, treatment, diapers and sexless life? The USPSTF and AAFP might change their minds if they listened (as we do) to Drs. Mehlhaff and Hoff explain the logic and common sense steps they follow from verifying an elevated PSA to diagnosis to treatment. There is no rush to judgment, but instead a lot of very thoughtful, common sense decisions.
The above are just a few of the reasons we know that lives are being PSA test at a time Copyright © 2010 - 2024