AUA is an annual meeting of urologists where data from new studies are presented. This data is presented in abstracts, or summaries of the entire peer reviewed articles. In this article, Mark Scholz, MD, analyzes the data and explains the practical implications of these new studies.
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"If you are looking about information about Prostate cancer for yourself or someone you love, you are going to encounter the Gleason Score. OK so what is it? At it’s simplest the Gleason score is a measure of how aggressive or nonaggressive a prostate cancer tumor is.
It seems we have a national passion for prostate biopsies. A million men are biopsied every year. Two hundred thousand of them will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about half of these with Low-Risk disease, a condition that can be safely monitored without immediate treatment. Even so, more than half of these men with Low-Risk will undergo prompt, radical treatment. Sadly, irrational fears rooted in the electrifying word “cancer” drive most men into taking immediate action.
Why Screen for Prostate Cancer?
Screening finds earlier stage cancers, allows for simpler treatments with fewer side effects, and saves lives. For example, in 1985, prior to PSA screening, the prostate cancer five-year survival rate was 69% compared to 99% in 2006. It’s unclear whether this dramatic survival increase is entirely due to PSA screening. Other factors, such as improved therapy have also contributed.