North Central News

New test could detect cancer early

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and while prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among men in the United States, breakthroughs in prostate cancer research are saving lives.

A panel of federal health experts announced every man between the ages of 55 and 69 should talk to their doctors about a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer.

A PSA test measures the level of prostate specific antigen in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer.

New research found testing cuts chances of developing advanced prostate cancer by 30 percent and risk of dying from the disease by 20 percent.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released the new recommendations after a study that followed patients for a longer period of time than previous clinical trials did. It showed that for every 1,000 men screened, one or two lives were saved.

Patients should talk with their primary care doctors about whether a PSA test is right for them.


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