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Urology Group: Prostate Screening Should Be Offered Beginning at Age 40

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2009;301(24):2538-2539. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.868.
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Chicago—The controversy swirling around the appropriateness of screening for prostate cancer may have become even more controversial.

At the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), held here in April, the association released an updated “best practice” statement that calls for offering early detection of and risk assessment for prostate cancer to all asymptomatic men at age 40 years with an estimated life expectancy of more than 10 years. This process would involve determining a baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level to help physicians and patients develop a strategy for monitoring prostate cancer risk. Depending on the baseline reading, such a strategy might involve annual PSA testing and digital rectal examination (DRE) or more infrequent testing (http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines/main-reports/psa09.pdf).

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Controversy surrounding the appropriateness of prostate cancer screening for asymptomatic men is reflected in the wide divergence of recommendations for such testing by policy-making groups.

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