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Community Care Physicians Responds to New Recommendations on Prostate Cancer Screenings


Posted: 10/24/2011

LATHAM, NY (10/24/2011) -- Community Care Physicians, PC (CCP) today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendations on the use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The Task Force recently published a recommendation that "healthy men" should not use the PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. The below statement is attributed to Hugh Fisher, MD, Urologist of CCP and Director of Urologic Oncology, Division of Urology, Albany Medical Center, and Arun Puranik, MD, Radiation Oncologist/Director of Image Guided Radiation Therapy of CCP and The Prostate Center of CCP:

"The United States Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation regarding the use of PSA as a screening tool for prostate cancer is Déjà vu. A recommendation from this same group regarding mammograms in women under age 50 was basically ignored by health care providers and health insurance companies.

The gains of the last 24 years in early detection and treatment of prostate cancer may be lost if the physicians were to follow the recommendation. The only randomized control trial of screening for prostate cancer, called ERSPC (European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer), found 20% reduction in prostate cancer death.

The panel makes valid points of over diagnosis and over treatment, but that alone cannot be grounds for eliminating PSA as a screening tool. Patient's age, family history and other risk factors should be considered and a physician should have a discussion about the benefits of PSA screening with each patient.

The risk of perioperative death, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction compared with watchful waiting negatively impacted the study outcome. If patients with high risk were treated with current methods of robotic surgery and Image Guided Radiation Therapy with minimal effects on quality of life the study may find PSA screening to be beneficial.

We recently had a patient who canceled his scheduled procedure for high risk prostate cancer having misinterpreted the recommendations of the panel. This patient has high-risk prostate cancer and, without a potentially curative treatment, would likely develop cancer metastasis and die from it within the next 10 years.

Eventually a compromise of sorts will be worked out with baseline PSA being performed and depending upon the risk factors the study may be performed less often."

About Community Care Physicians, P.C.

Community Care Physicians, P.C. is the largest independent multi-specialty medical group with over 40 practices spanning Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties of the Capital Region. Community Care Physicians offers over 20 different specialty services, including Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, ImageCare Medical Imaging, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, Interventional Radiology, General Surgery, Urology, Physical Therapy, Urgent Care, Podiatry, Laboratory, Audiology, Dermatology and MOHS Surgery, Diabetes Education and Nutrition, Sports Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Bariatric Medicine, and Plastic Surgery. For more information visit www.communitycare.com.

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Contact Alexis Musto, Marketing Manager at Community Care Physicians, PC, for more information about prone breast radiation therapy at Image Guided Radiation Therapy of Community Care Physicians, PC by phone at 518-213-0322, by email at amusto@communitycare.com, or by fax at 518-782-3798.


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