Straight Talk About Prostate Cancer

Dr. Michael Fabrizio Of Urology Of Virginia Sets The Record Straight About Screening For The “Unmentionable Ailment”

Dr. Michael Fabrizio Of Urology Of Virginia talks about the hard truth of Prostate Cancer

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According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 238,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, with just under an estimated 30,000 dying from the disease.

These are sobering predictions, considering the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended that screenings for prostate cancer be given a “D” rating, suggesting that the procedure should not be done.

“There is a big controversy in PSA [Prostate-Specific Antigen] screening right now,” says Dr. Michael D. Fabrizio, MD, FACS, of Urology of Virginia, a board-certified urologist and professor of urology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “There is some bad information out there that you don’t have to screen. The data that the USPSTF used was really bad. There was no urologist and no surgeon on the panel,” he says, referring to a 14-person panel appointed by the new Accountable Care Organization to make recommendations to the USPSTF.

Essentially, the board recommends that men under 54 years of age do not have to be screened. However, as Dr. Fabrizio points out, this is a blanket recommendation, and communication with a physician is a must.

“The bottom line is the AUA [American Urological Association] recommendations have changed just in the past month,” he says, “stating that we should be screening men 55–69 years of age who have at least a 10-year life expectancy, and that it is a shared decision-making process with patient and doctor.”

Based on the guidelines of the AUA, Dr. Fabrizio recommends that, “men between 40–50 years of age of average risk should have a discussion with their physician regarding the pros and cons of screening.”