A diagnosis for metastatic prostate cancer has a 30% five-year survival rate. The regional or local disease has almost a 100% survival rate. Patients diagnosed with localized but aggressive prostate cancer can receive curative treatment. But for men with metastatic disease, the treatments will not be curative, but will only slow the progression of the disease. That is why most metastatic prostate cancer patients end up dying from the disease.
The recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for men not to be screened for prostate cancer led to increased cases of advanced metastatic disease during diagnosis. Due to the recommendation, most men found an excuse not to go for screening, and many doctors did not authorize the test.
Here is why screening is critical in prostate cancer metastatic cases:
- There may continue to be a significant increase in death rates due to prostate cancer if more people are diagnosed with metastatic disease. The rise in mortality rates calls for a refinement of the screening guidelines and treatment based on the patient’s genetics and risk factors. This will help to prevent metastatic prostate cancer incidences and the potential deaths associated with the disease. It will also minimize cases of over diagnosis and overtreatment of men with low-risk disease who do not require treatment.
- If detected early, prostate cancer is treatable. But some patients may develop aggressive disease that is likely to recur, progress, and metastasize. Not all prostate cancer patients need radiation or surgery. Every case requires precision prostate cancer care, though. Smart and targeted screening methods are necessary to avoid putting men at high cancer risks by not detecting the disease early when it is curable.
Some urologists are recommending that men go for PSA tests in their early 40s to establish a baseline then proceed with annual PSA testing from the age of 50. Men should strongly consider this recommendation to increase their chances of curing the disease and avoiding unnecessary deaths.