Prostate Cancer and Testing Recommendations

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Tallahassee, Florida- September 7, 2012- 10:42pm

In 1995, Eugene Ward was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He says he was in his 50's then.

"I was scared, if my wife was here she'd tell you I was very scared," said Ward.

But it was caught early, and 17 years later he still calls himself a survivor.

Dr. Dan Rackley is a urologist with the Southeastern Urology Center. He says early detection is key, but he worries a new recommendation could prevent just that.

"A government task force over the past few months, downgraded the recommendation on whether men should have yearly PSA's," said Dr. Rackley.

He says instead of an annual PSA test, which stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen, that government task force recommends leaving the frequency of testing up to the patient and his doctor.

"The controversy is that probably all prostate cancers don't need radical treatment," said Dr. Rackley.

This is treatment he says can run of the cost of care, but he says the alternative can be deadly.

"They didn't have PSA testing until the late 80s, frequently we would make the diagnosis of prostate cancer when men have metastatic disease," said Rackley.

By then, it's too late. Survivors like Ward say taking a simple test, can save your life like it did his, at least for the most part.

"It was really my wife that saved my life (laughs) if she didn't insist, I could have been in worse shape," said Ward.

There is a prostate screening coming up in Tallahassee hosted by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The date for that is September 24 from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center. That's located at 1775 One Healing Place. To schedule an appointment,
call (850) 431-4226 option 7.

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