Prostrate health is one of the most significant factors that determine the overall health of a man. This applies especially to the men who have crossed the age of 40.
In accordance with the American Cancer Society, Prostrate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the United States.
Skin cancer is the only type of cancer that has more diagnosed cases than the cancer of the prostate. This is why there are various awareness programs solely to encourage men to take care of their prostate health and get tests.
However, a number of recent studies have put the necessity of getting prostrate screenings into question highlighting the need to see whether these tests are even effective or reliable in the first place.
What is the general view of prostate screenings?
There are many types of research out there that support completely opposite views. There are studies that have concluded that prostate screenings are of little use to prostate cancer mortality while others claim that the test can actually help in reducing mortality rates.
When and what caused the controversy over prostate screening tests?
The prostrate exams began during the 1980s. It was when the diagnosis of the men with prostate cancer was higher more than ever before. The screenings continue today with a large number of men getting them are there is a lot more awareness.
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine notes, there was not any strong evidence or research which made people think about the effectiveness of the prostate tests until 2009 when two high profile studies were conducted.
Although both of the studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, both of them had a contrasting view on prostrate testing and its advantages.
Looking at the Prostrate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) and European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), the contradiction in results of the both is pretty prominent.
The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial found little difference between the rates of deaths caused by prostate cancer in both of the groups whereas European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer concluded that screening reduced mortality by 20 percent.
What did the other studies report?
Later, the studies conducted by PLCO were re-examined and a number of errors were detected. Researchers found faults within the studies and gave a conclusion similar to the one given by the ERSPC that prostate screenings do lower mortality rates.
However, the experts interviewed by the Scientific American revealed that the analyses published in the Annals of Internal Medicine used ways that were doubtful and their methodology was unverifiable or something they had not seen before.
Additionally, the research on the disadvantages of prostate tests complicates the matter even more. For example, it has been seen that some men are told they have cancer even when their abnormal cells do not grow.
This leads to unnecessary medical attention, use of drugs with a number of other side effects and even surgery. It might also bring about medical conditions that are difficult to live with for someone such as incontinence.
So, should you get a prostate screening regularly?
Keeping all of this in mind, it is suggested that you talk to your doctor and discuss the advantages and potential disadvantages of getting a prostate screening since over-diagnoses along with the question of its effects are both major issues.
Though the early diagnosis of prostate cancer can stop it from further developing with treatment on time and getting physical tests regularly is always a good idea, there are a couple of other ways that are also suggested to maintain prostate health.
For example, many of the doctors and researchers suggest having a good diet filled with sufficient nutrients to keep the prostate in good health.
Consuming more fish, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, and green tea as well as avoiding too much dairy and meat can also help to avoid prostate complications.