How Old is Too Old for Annual PSA Test?

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Tudpock18
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4277
   Posted 10/15/2009 6:13 AM (GMT -6)   
FYI, this is hot off the presses from Johns Hopkins Health alerts.  I'm making no value judgements on this...just sharing.
 
Tudpock
 

How Old Is Too Old For an Annual PSA Test?

If you are an elderly man, you may wonder if you should continue to have an annual PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. Here are the latest guidelines.

The U. S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended that doctors not screen men age 75 and older for prostate cancer. The panel weighed the potential benefits and harms of PSA testing in this population and concluded that the screening was more likely to have a negative impact on these men than a positive one.

The rationale: Prostate cancer is a slow-growing malignancy that may take 10 or more years to produce significant symptoms. Many elderly men will die of another condition before their prostate cancer becomes life threatening. Thus, an abnormal PSA test would lead to the pain and discomfort of a prostate biopsy and unnecessary worry if no cancer is found. If cancer is found and treated, the man will have to contend with side effects, such as sexual dysfunction and incontinence.

Other medical organizations recommend annual screening for men at average risk for prostate cancer beginning at age 50, but they do not address when screening is no longer necessary. And still others recommend screening for all men with a life expectancy of at least 10 years.

Bottom line advice: If you are age 75 or older, discuss the risks and benefits of PSA testing with your doctor. If you get tested and are diagnosed with a low-grade cancer, keep in mind that active surveillance is an option that allows you to be closely monitored but treated only if your disease progresses.


Age 62, Gleason 4 +3 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2 of 16 cores cancerous, 27cc
Brachytherapy December 9, 2008.  73 Iodine-125 seeds.  Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort.  Regular activities resumed, everything continues to function normally as of 9/1/09.  6 month PSA  1.4 and my docs are "delighted"!

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 10/15/2009 7:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Tud,

Unless I am missing the obvious, sounds like a pretty reasonable and balanced approach to the question. It would be highly unlikely that any low grade PC dx would ever mature in the remaining lifetime of a man over 75 years of age..

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/09 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/09 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 - out  38 days, 9/14/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl.agree to start radiation, mapping on 9/21/9, 9/24 - mtg with uro/surg, 9/29- pre-op, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - suprapubic cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - began IMRT SRT - 39 sessions/72 gys.

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