PROSTATE CANCER INFOLINK: Rather than having to ask for a prostate cancer test, men should be offered it but have the right to “opt out”. READ MORE>
That’s the novel view put forward by top US prostate cancer website New Prostate Cancer Infolink, whose administrator, Mike Scott, writes:
The way we see this is that men should have an “opt out” clause that allows them not to get tested for prostate cancer risk.
This is a very American option. One can argue over whether it is right or wrong, but it clearly leaves the decision in the hands of the individual.
His latest blog looks at the somewhat ambivalent views of the American Cancer Society:
It would…be helpful, if the ACS’s chief medical officer would be so kind as to articulate the ACS’s official position with clarity, as opposed to his tendency to articulate his personal opinion about “screening” (ie, mass, population-based testing of everyone), so that the average man in the street was getting a clear message about what the ACS actually does recommend.
Scott’s view is:
…the following people should absolutely be getting PSA tests and physical exams as a means of assessing their risk for clinically significant prostate cancer starting somewhere between 40 and 50 years of age depending on their risk factors:
- Any man with a family history of prostate cancer
- Any man with an ethnic risk for prostate cancer (specifically including African Americans)
- Any man who requests such tests
- Any man who asks his physician to decide whether he should get such tests for him
- Every man should be having a conversation with his doctor to discuss the relative risks and benefits of testing to detect possible risk for prostate cancer.