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Early prostate cancer diagnosis can keep conservative treatment approaches in play

Category: Prostate

Many of the most common treatments for prostate cancer can carry a high risk of side effects like urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. However, the earlier a tumor is detected, the less likely it is a man will have to undergo an invasive procedure, which is why regular PSA testing is so important.

Dr. Craig Donaldson, the medical director for oncology at Intermountain Healthcare of Utah, to the St. George Daily Spectrum that he recommends PSA testing for patients over the age of 50 due to the benefits of early detection. Individuals who have risk factors for the condition like a family history are urged to start being screened even earlier.

"The earlier that we detect it, the more treatment options that we have," Dr. Donaldson told the news source.

More intensive treatments like surgery or hormone therapy carry the highest risk of side effects. However, when tumors are caught early it can enable doctors to try more conservative methods like radiation. Even a simple watchful waiting approach may be appropriate for some men, as prostate cancer tends to be very slow moving.

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