Prostate cancer cases risk being detected too late due to misleading focus on urinary problems, say experts

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Men with early prostate cancer are missing out on a chance to be diagnosed because national guidelines and media health campaigns focus on urinary symptoms despite a lack of scientific evidence, say experts at the University at Cambridge.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. According to Cancer Research UK, more than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and there are more than 12,000 deaths.

More than three-quarters (78%) of men diagnosed with the disease live for more than ten years, but this number has not changed over the past decade in the UK, largely because the disease is being diagnosed at a younger age. short time. In England, for example, almost half of all prostate cancers are diagnosed at stage three out of four (stage four is the final stage).

Although there is no evidence of a link between urinary symptoms and prostate cancer, national guidelines, health recommendations and public health campaigns continue to promote this link. In a review published today a BMC MedicineCambridge researchers argue that not only is this ineffective, but it may prevent men from coming forward for early screening and detecting a possible cancer.

“When most people think of prostate cancer symptoms, they think of problems with urination or the need to urinate frequently, especially at night,” says Vincent Gnanapragasam, Professor of Urology at the University of Cambridge. and Consultant Specialist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. “This misconception has been around for years, despite the lack of evidence, and it can prevent us from taking cases in the first place.”

An enlarged prostate can cause prostate problems is often associated with public health messages, but evidence suggests that it is rarely caused by meningococcal disease. Instead, research shows that the prostate is smaller in cases of prostate cancer. A recent study—the KARE UK trial—even found that the absence of symptoms of urinary tract infections could be a sign of possible cancer.

Screening programs are one way to detect cancer early, but in the case of prostate cancer, some argue that such programs risk many health services and lead to men being treated for the wrong. health.

Prostate cancer testing involves a blood test that looks for a protein known as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that is only made by the prostate gland; however, it is not always correct. PSA levels are more accurate than PSA alone in predicting a benign tumor and are used in routine clinical practice.

The researchers showed evidence that there is a misconception that prostate cancer has symptoms: a previous study found that 86% of the population associated cancer with symptoms, but 1% they just know that it can be asymptomatic.

“We need to quickly realize that the information that is currently being given to the public is dangerous for men who are in a vulnerable state if they don’t have urinary symptoms,” said Professor Gnanapragasam.

“We need to emphasize that prostate cancer can be silent or sick, especially in the stages that can be cured. Waiting to wait. urinary symptoms it can mean missing the chance of getting a disease when it can be treated.

“Men should not be afraid to talk to their GP about getting tested, and the value of a PSA test, especially if they have a history of prostate cancer in their family or have other risk factors such as being Black or of mixed Black ethnicity.”

The researchers said they were not advocating an immediate screening programme, and admitted that the changes to the message could mean more men contacting their GPs for PSA tests, which could lead to unnecessary tests. However, they argue that there are ways to reduce the risk of this happening. These include the use of algorithms to determine a person’s risk and whether they need to be referred to a specialist, and for those referred, MRI scans can help rule out “indolent” (mild) disease or diagnoses negative, risk reduction. a useless biopsy.

“We are calling on organizations such as the NHS, as well as patient charities and the media, to review their current public messaging,” Professor Gnanapragasam said.

“If men knew that just because they don’t have symptoms it doesn’t mean they don’t have cancer, then others might take up the offer of the test. It’s a symptom of an incurable disease.”

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Additional information:
Vincent Gnanapragasam et al. Urinary symptoms and prostate cancer – a misconception that can prevent early presentation and good life outcomes, BMC Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12916-022-02453-7

Its availability
University of Cambridge

hint: Prostate cancer risks early detection due to focus on urinary problems, experts say (2022, August 3) Retrieved August 3, 2022 from prostate-cancer-cases- late.html

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Prostate cancer cases risk being detected too late due to misleading focus on urinary problems, say experts Source link Prostate cancer cases risk being detected too late due to misleading focus on urinary problems, say experts

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