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American Cancer Society Got it Wrong: Study Confirms Prostate Cancer Test Saves Lives

Saturday, July 3, 2010 General News J E 4
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ZERO Demands ACS Apology to All American Families About Prostate Cancer Testing as New Proof Emerges on the Effectiveness of the PSA Test

WASHINGTON, July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a new study showing the PSA test reduces the prostate cancer death rate by 44 percent, ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer demands an apology for all at risk of the disease from the American Cancer Society, which has long discounted the importance of prostate cancer testing.

"It's time to 'Man Up' and admit they were wrong," said ZERO CEO Skip Lockwood. "This new study clearly shows the PSA test does save lives, even though the American Cancer Society and its chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, have long disregarded scientific data and the advice of 17,000 urologists across the U.S. that this test reduces the prostate cancer death rate."

The new study out of Sweden, based on a 14-year review of 20,000 men between the ages 50 to 65, found that PSA testing reduced the prostate cancer death rate by 44 percent. These results were published June 30 in the Lancet Oncology medical journal.

"With 2010 statistics predicting a 17 percent jump in prostate cancer deaths - the largest in more than a decade - the ACS should be encouraging men to take control of their lives and get tested," Lockwood said. "Instead, ACS is more concerned about sexual side effects rather than saving men's lives - though it quickly changed its tune when it said the same thing last year about women getting a mammogram."

ACS became embroiled in a firestorm of controversy last October by seeking to change its guidelines that women did not need an annual mammogram until age 50, instead of 40. ACS quickly backed off after an outcry from the public and health and government officials. ACS says men should consider getting the PSA test at the age of 50, or age 40 or 45 depending on one's family history with the disease.

"Like the mammogram, we acknowledge the PSA test is not perfect - it cannot distinguish slow-growing tumors from rapidly growing ones - but until new methods for testing are developed, it's still the best tool available for early detection and prompt treatment of prostate cancer," Lockwood said.

While the new report says 12 men need to be diagnosed in order to prevent one cancer death, Swedish scientists say they found that the risk of over-diagnosis was not as high as previously thought, and that "the benefit of prostate cancer screening compares favorably to other cancer screening programs."

Despite the lack of support from ACS, the value of early detection through PSA testing is supported by more than a dozen leading U.S. organizations. This includes the American Urological Association, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer Research Institute, Malecare Prostate Cancer Support, Men's Health Network, National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, Prostate Cancer International, Prostate Conditions Education Council, Prostate Health Education Network, The Prostate Net, Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, and Women Against Prostate Cancer.

"The only difference between the PSA test and mammograms is there aren't millions of men who will stand up to the claims being peddled by Brawley and the American Cancer Society," Lockwood said.

About Prostate Cancer ...

About ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer (ZeroCancer.org)

Zero prostate cancer deaths. Zero prostate cancer cases and, for those with prostate cancer, it means a zero PSA. Our name conveys what we stand for - zero tolerance for prostate cancer. At ZERO, we commit ourselves not only to reduce prostate cancer or alleviate the pain from the disease, but to end it. We see a future where all men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer will be cured or manage their illness with good quality of life, with the support they need to minimize physical and emotional suffering, and to cope effectively throughout their cancer journey.

To accomplish our goal, we provide comprehensive treatment information to patients, education to those at risk and conduct free prostate cancer testing throughout the country. We increase research funds from the federal government to find new treatments and we fund local grants to end the disease.

-- 1 in every 6 men will get prostate cancer sometime in his life. More than 217,000 cases are expected in 2010 - on par with breast cancer. -- There are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer while it is still in its early stages. This is why getting tested is so critical. -- African Americans and men with a family history of the disease are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. -- Nearly 100-percent of patients survive at least five years if prostate cancer is detected early (i.e. cancer still contained within the prostate).

SOURCE ZERO - The Project to End Prostate Cancer
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