In response to the article from Wed., March 3, 2010, regarding prostate cancer screening.
A recent communication from the American Cancer Society urged doctors to make it clear as to the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening. Certainly we agree with this recommendation, however, we caution that it is because of PSA and annual digital rectal examination (DRE) that the prostate cancer death rate has dropped dramatically over the past 20 years, since routine use of PSA. Furthermore, the majority of patients diagnosed with this disease are diagnosed in the early stages, again secondary to early detection with PSA. If one elects to ignore the benefit of PSA as a possible screening tool, one needs to accept the possibility that they are more likely to develop advanced disease prior to diagnosis. The latter of which is not curable.
Prostate cancer deaths have dropped 40% in the last 20 years because of early detection.