Insufficient evidence is preventing the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) to recommend or oppose a routine prostate cancer screening of the population with Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) or measuring the tumour marker, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). However the ACPM advices the doctors caring for men, especially Afro-Americans and those with a family history of the disease, to list out the pros and cons of doing the screening so that the patients can make an informed consent.
According to Dr. Lionel Lim, the lead author of ACPM's recommendation, "Patient and clinician discussion about screening is important, however, a man should ultimately be allowed to make his own decision about screening while taking into consideration personal preferences and life expectancy. If the patient prefers to defer to the clinician or is unable to make a decision regarding screening, then testing should not be offered as long as the patient understands the associated benefits, potential limitations, and adverse effects."
Prostate cancer is the leading type of cancer among U.S. men, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. While prostate cancer incidence increases with age, and men with a family history of prostate cancer and African-American men are at higher risk of both developing and dying from prostate cancer, there are both risks and benefits associated with prostate screening and further studies are needed to establish the efficacy and optimal age at which prostate cancer screening should be initiated in these high-risk population groups.
According to Dr. Michael Parkinson, President of ACPM, "Prostate cancer remains a significant concern among U.S. men today. ACPM will continue to review emerging evidence to determine and communicate the most effective methods to detect and prevent the disease."