Screening

Does fewer PSA tests mean less prostate cancer?

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Fewer men are being given PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer. As screening rates have fallen, so have the number of prostate cancer diagnoses. This probably also means that fewer men are receiving potentially unnecessary treatment, with its attendant negative side effects. At the same time, it isn’t yet clear whether that comes at the cost of more aggressive cancers being caught at an incurable stage. Better screening tests may make the difference in helping strike the right balance between limiting harm and preventing prostate cancer deaths.

The Department of Defense wages war on prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Active and retired servicemen with prostate cancer can get access to clinical trials, experimental therapies, and state-of-the-art care through the Department of Defense’s Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR).

Targeted prostate biopsies better at detecting dangerous cancers

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Standard biopsies of the prostate gland often miss potentially aggressive prostate cancer. Adding MRI images to standard biopsies improves the detection of prostate cancer.

How to monitor prostate cancer using active surveillance

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Study: Men with BRCA gene variant should have PSA tests

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

A study published in the journal European Urology suggests that men who have defects in a cancer-suppressing gene known as BRCA are at high risk for aggressive prostate tumors, and so could benefit from PSA testing.

Trained dogs can sniff out prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

With their ability to smell tiny amounts of chemicals, trained dogs can easily find explosives or illegal drugs hidden in a suitcase. But mounting evidence points to another helpful job for man’s best friend: finding prostate cancer before it causes any symptoms.

Prostate cancer trajectory set early

In many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, the cancer cells grow so slowly that they never break free of the gland, spread to distant sites, and pose a serious risk to health and longevity. In others, cancer is fast growing and aggressive from the beginning. A new Harvard study shows that the aggressiveness of prostate cancer at diagnosis remains stable over time for most men.

Genetic testing to guide prostate removal: too soon to know if it helps

Is it possible for a gene test to identify whether a prostate that’s healthy today is sure to develop cancer down the road? And should results of such a test be the basis for removing a seemingly healthy prostate gland? Those are questions raised by recent press reports of a British man who had his prostate gland removed because he carried a faulty gene called BRCA2.

Harvard experts weigh in on PSA test debate

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

For the first time, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that healthy men avoid getting regular prostate cancer screening tests.  The new recommendation, which conflicts with existing recommendations from the American Urological Association, has sparked controversy among experts and confusion among patients. Harvard’s Ann MacDonald, Editor of the Annual Report on Prostate Diseases, offers […]

Why pathologists may disagree

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Some disagreements involve objective factors, such as how biopsies are done. But usually, when pathologists disagree, to comes down to interpretation and judgment, both subjective qualities.