ACS revises prostate cancer screening guidelines

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Revised recommendations for prostate cancer screening have been released by the American Cancer Society (ACS), offering clearer guidance on informed decision-making (IDM).

Difficulty determining who should be treated has led the American Cancer Society to emphasize informed decision-making (IDM) and recommend that men use decision-making tools to help them make an informed choice about testing.

The American Cancer Society has also made the following recommendations:

  • Starting at age 50 years , men should begin discussing the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits associated with prostate cancer screening with their doctor.
  • Men with no symptoms and a life expectancy less than 10 years should not be offered prostate cancer screening because researchers have concluded that, for them, the risks likely outweigh the benefits.

  • Men at high risk--African American men and men with relatives who developed prostate cancer before age 65 years--should begin conversations with doctors at age 45 years.

  • Men at higher risk--those with multiple family members affected by prostate cancer before age 65 years--should begin to talk with their doctors at age 40 years about their treatment options.
  • If men are unable to make a decision after conversations with their doctor about screening, doctors should make a decision about screening based on knowledge of the patient's health preferences and values.

Additionally, the new guidelines make the digital rectal exam (DRE) optional for men who choose to be screened after discussing the risks and benefits with their doctor and offer the option of extending the time between screening for men with low PSA levels.

To learn more about the American Cancer Society's new guidelines, visit or call (800)-227-2345.

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