September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Prostate cancer is the
second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men residing the United States. In
2000, an estimated 180,400 new cases will be diagnosed, and an estimated 31,900 men
will die of the disease.
In the absence of scientific consensus on the effectiveness of screening,
support has been turned to epidemiologic and behavioral research efforts to build the science base
for prostate cancer control. By developing methods to study the disease's
epidemiology, strengthening state cancer registries through the National Program of
Cancer Registries, and supporting recruitment into clinical trials perhaps a stron consensus can be reached and recommendations for treatment, screening and prevention can be put forth.
Studies are also underway to determine how men in the United States and their health-care providers make decisions
about prostate cancer screening and treatment options and government agencies are working with key partners
to develop and evaluate new educational materials.
While waiting for all the new research to bear fruit, Vidyya readers can read the 1996 screening guidelines from the US Preventive Services Task Force, which appeared in the 12-September-2000 issue of Vidyya.