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Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Updates for August 2012

August 13. In USPSTF Draft Report we added: Similarly, Dr. Gomella, chair of the Dept. of Urology at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, recalls that in the 1980s when he was a resident that, unlike today, patients typically presented with metastatic disease. "Our only option was to surgically castrate these men or treat them with estrogens, and they died a year or two later. I don’t want to go back to those days." Quoted in Aug 13, 2012 American Medical Association's news web site [here].

August 1. In USPSTF Draft Report we added: A July 2012 paper [PMID: 22847578] estimated that in the year 2008 one would have expected 25,000 cases of metastatic prostate cancer based on data from the pre-screening era but only 8,000 were observed. That is metastatic prostate was 3x more prevalent prior to PSA screening than after. If this were due to screening then the effect of screening would be a reduction in metastatic prostate cancer of 17,000 cases in 2008. The study author was quoted as saying: "The reason our study has some meaning is that all a screening test can give you is a shift to lower-stage disease. ... It can't cure the disease and it can't prevent the disease. All it can do is allow you to catch it earlier and give appropriate treatment for the stage of disease you have caught it at." Even though this is not a randomized study, the author also pointed out that the randomized European study used by the USPSTF showed consistent data reinforcing the conclusions of this study. [from WebMD]. "The USPSTF will be criticized for not having done analysis such as this," Dr. Martin Sanda, director of the Prostate Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said of the study findings. [Fox News].

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