BUFORD, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new survey suggests that men may not always know just what the doctor has ordered when it comes to PSA screening. In a survey of 1,539 men, 80 percent were unaware that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against screening for prostate cancer in healthy men. “Because many men are unaware of the Task Force guidelines, they may mistakenly assume that a PSA test is being conducted as part of the overall lab work typically ordered during a physical examination,” says Mark Scholz, M.D., a medical oncologist and executive director of the non-profit Prostate Cancer Research Institute. “The lack of awareness may have direct consequences on the future of their health and certainly limits their opportunity for an open and informed conversation with their physician.”
“Because many men are unaware of the Task Force guidelines, they may mistakenly assume that a PSA test is being conducted as part of the overall lab work typically ordered during a physical examination”
In May 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force kicked off a national debate when the volunteer-based panel of healthcare experts published guidelines recommending against the use of a PSA test as a screening tool to help detect prostate cancer in otherwise healthy men. Once provided information about the Task Force guidelines, nearly three-quarters (73%) of the men surveyed disagreed with the recommendation. Yet less than half of men (47%) who participated in the survey recall their primary care physician recommending a PSA test.
Primary care physicians are the healthcare practitioner most likely to screen a healthy man for prostate cancer. The PSA test is typically performed during an annual physical examination, often in combination with a digital rectal exam. While the PSA test is a safe, simple blood test, the Task Force and some healthcare professionals and policy organizations contend that an elevated PSA result can lead to over-diagnosis and over-treatment. Yet, nearly all men in the survey (97%) believe they should be provided information about the PSA test so that they would be able to have an informed conversation with their physician and make an educated decision about PSA screening. Only half (51%) of men in the survey believe their physician discussed with them the pros and cons of a PSA test.
More than half of men (54%) indicated they would ask their physician about PSA screening during their next appointment, while 19 percent plan to ask their primary care doctor for a PSA test.
The survey was commissioned by Theragenics Corporation®, a medical device company serving the surgical products and prostate cancer treatment markets. The survey, fielded by LiveWire Research, consisted of 13-questions and was administered and completed online by 1,539 men between the ages of 50 and 70 and of Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American backgrounds.
About Prostate Cancer Research Institute
The Prostate Cancer Research Institute’s mission is to improve the quality of men’s lives by supporting research and disseminating information that educates and empowers patients, families and the medical community.
Theragenics Corporation (NYSE: TGX) operates two business segments: its surgical products business and its brachytherapy seed business. The surgical products business (www.cpmedical.com, www.galtmedical.com, www.needletech.com) manufactures and distributes wound closure, vascular access, and specialty needle products. Wound closure products include sutures, needles and other surgical products. Vascular access includes introducers, guidewires and related products. Specialty needles include coaxial, biopsy, spinal and disposable veress needles, access trocars, radiofrequency devices, implanters, introducer products, and other needle-based products. The surgical products segment serves a number of markets and applications, including, among other areas, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, vascular surgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, dental surgery, urology, veterinary medicine, pain management, endoscopy, and spinal surgery. Theragenics’ brachytherapy business manufactures, custom loads, markets and distributes “seeds” used primarily in the minimally invasive treatment of localized prostate cancer. The Company’s brachytherapy product line (www.theragenicsbrachy.com) includes its palladium-103 TheraSeed® device and its iodine-125 AgX100® device. The terms "Company," "we," "us," or "our" mean Theragenics Corporation and all entities included in our consolidated financial statements. For additional information, call our Investor Relations Department at (800) 998-8479 or visit www.theragenics.com.