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Many men who are at high risk for prostate cancer do not receive PSA tests, while too many older men who have little risk of the disease are being screened, according to a new study published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology.
Prostate cancer is a slow moving disease. The University of Chicago researchers who conducted the study said that most older men who are diagnosed with the condition end up dying of other causes before the tumor can develop into something harmful.
Despite this, they found that older men with a low risk are more likely to receive PSA testing than young men who are at high risk. Nearly twice the number of individuals in their 70s are screened for prostate cancer compared to those in their 50s, who would benefit the most from testing. Furthermore 80-year-olds are just as likely to be screened as men in their 50s.
"We were surprised to find that nearly three-quarters of men in their fifties were not screened within the past year," said Scott Eggener, who led the study. "These results emphasize the need for greater physician interaction and conversations about the merits and limitations of prostate cancer screening for men of all ages."
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