Patt Morrison for August 5, 2008

Prostate Exams Not Needed After 75?

A new study by the Annals of Internal Medicine recommends that men over 75 should no longer be screened for prostate cancer. This seemingly counterintuitive suggestion cites the stress of false positives coupled with physical and mental harm to the patient as the basis of their recommendation. Some healthcare professionals are outraged calling the recommendation an example of blatant ageism and a money saving move designed by HMOs. Is this a blow to the practice of preventative care? With rates of prostate and other reproductive cancers on the rise and aging baby boomers, this recommendation has far reaching implications for professional attitudes and practices regarding the care of an aging population.

* Dr. Kenneth Lin, Medical Officer U.S. Preventive Service Task Force
* Dr. Timothy Wilson, Chair of the Urology Department at City of Hope


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