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Doctors are nearly unanimous when it comes whether or not men should have their prostate tested as they age. Many believe that testing can find problems at earlier stages when cancers are more treatable, which can help save men's lives.
However, there has been recent debate over what kind of tests should be done. Some doctors believe that the range of digital imaging options available is the most effective for finding tumors, but most agree that the traditional PSA test is still the most efficient.
PSA tests look for a specific protein in blood samples that typically indicate the presence of a growth in the prostate.
Dr Frederick Newton told the Pennsylvania Patriot-News that PSA testing is a vital tool that has prevented many men from developing prostate cancer by catching problems at an earlier stage.
Newton said that before the test, "most tumors were advanced and incurable. That has almost disappeared. The type of tumor today is usually not the same one that was present 25 years ago. Screening has definitely made a difference."
The survival rate for prostate cancer has significantly improved since the PSA test was first introduced in the mid 1980s, according to the National Institute of Health.
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