Dr. Mona Khanna, discusses the new screening recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and why they have changed.
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Rebecca Fox: To screen or nor to screen, we often here about recommendations for cancer screenings and now, the leading prevention organizations say it's recommending against prostate cancer screening for certain group. Icyou's medical editor Dr. Mona Khanna joins us now to explain these new recommendations. And Dr. Mona, what are these recommendations? Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, Rebecca is now saying that men 75 and older, do not need to be screened at all for prostate cancer. Either by the blood test, the PSA test or the digital rectal examine. That's where the doctor feels around for lumps and masses. Rebecca Fox: Why have these recommendations changed? Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, the WINS organization works is that it can recommend for something, it can remain neutral or it cannot recommend for something and it's decided to go the third way for this particular test, because it says, first of all, there is no improvement in long term outcome for this group of men. In other words, screen or don't screen, we see no increase in their life expectancy. So what's the point of screening when it can cause discomfort, when it's expensive and when people have to go to the trouble of actually going to get the test done. Rebecca Fox: Aside from this age group, what are the recommendations for prostate cancer screening in other men? Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, it actually falls in the middle category for the other group of men, which is everybody under the age of 75. And the US Preventive Services Task Force says, that group of men, it recommends, it doesn't have a recommendation at all. It doesn't recommend for and it doesn't recommend against. So what that means is that other organizations have made their own recommendations or your personal physician will say, well, it is my practice to A do the prostate specific antigen test; or B do the digital rectal exam. Now I will tell you that when I was in medical school, we were trained that after the age of 40 we were supposed to do the digital rectal exam on men. The PSA test is something that has come up in more recent years. So I think that's the common practice is the doctors do the digital rectal exam and or the PSA test. Usually, the digital rectal exam starts after age 40 and PSA test starts after age 50. There are some groups that are at higher risk for prostate cancer such as African-American men and in those cases, individual recommendations are made at the advice of the person's doctor. Rebecca Fox: So for most men, the recommendations have stayed the same? Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, from the other groups. This groups that has coming out now and saying, they don't recommend or they recommend against doing the test is one group, but in medicine we have several organizations that look after the welfare of the patients and some of the other group say, after 40, digital rectal exam. After 50, get that PSA test every year. Rebecca Fox: Alright, Dr. Mona some important advice. Thank you so much. You can watch more videos featuring Dr. Mona Khanna on www.icyou.com. For icyou on topic, I'm Rebecca Fox.