Media Release: 3/3/10

Complex New Guidelines from Multiple Organizations Confuse Men About Prostate Cancer Screening

WASHINGTON, DC, March 3, 2010 Members of America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations are concerned that the issuance this morning of yet another set of new guidelines on screening for prostate cancer is only adding to the confusion most men already feel about whether they should or shouldn’t be tested for the most common form of cancer in American men.

“It is time for us all to come together and make one, straightforward recommendation about screening and early detection of prostate cancer that is easily understood by men and their doctors,” said Thomas Kirk, President/CEO of Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network.

“In the past 12 months we have seen new guidance on prostate cancer screening from the American Urological Association (a professional society), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (a network of cancer centers), and now the American Cancer Society (a cancer nonprofit),” stated Skip Lockwood, President of ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer. “Each set of guidelines is complex, and the details in each set of guidance are all slightly different.”

America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations, which seek to act in the best interests of men at risk for prostate cancer and those already diagnosed with this disease, believe that it is high time that the various groups work together to issue one, simple guidance document for men and their families and another for the primary care community. Such guidance should represent a consensus position of the U.S. professional societies and other stakeholders on the risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer, as opposed to the viewpoints of selected groups of specialists.

“These guideline discrepancies only add to the confusion around two key issues – when to be screened and what to do with the screening results,” said Wendy Poage, President of the Prostate Conditions Education Council.  ”By collectively issuing clear guidelines, we can finally address these questions and encourage men to take appropriate steps to safe guard their health.”

“There appears to be significant overlap between the recommendations of the various groups issuing these differing guidelines,” noted Scott T. Williams, Vice President of Men’s Health Network. “The members of America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations are more than willing to work closely with the interested sectors to help to develop standard and simple guidelines that can be universally promoted to men and their families and to the provider community.”

About America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations: Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among American males. Nearly 200,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, and about 28,000 will die from this disease. This group of independent, not-for-profit organizations cooperates to foster the development of policies that support the early detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, the effective treatment of men with this disease, and the appropriate education of all men at risk for this disease.

The above statement was issued on behalf of and endorsed by: