Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Have Prostate Checked from Age 40

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Have Prostate Checked from Age 40

Article excerpt

Byline: LismoreIntern

AUSTRALIAN men should begin routine testing for prostate cancer from age 40, experts say, to boost rates of early detection and help to reduce deaths.

The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) has reduced the age at which it recommends men have their first Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test by 10 years.

USANZ president Dr David Malouf says the move followed a review of latest research into the cancer, which is now diagnosed in 10 men under the age of 50 every week in Australia and New Zealand.

"If we continue to wait until men are 50 before being tested, we will miss some with prostate cancer who could have been identified much earlier, monitored by their GPs and urologists and received timely appropriate advice and treatment," Dr Malouf said.

"These men have a better prognosis if they are picked up earlier."

The blood test for prostate cancer checks the level of a protein which is otherwise part of a man's ejaculatory fluid. Elevated levels of this protein in a man's blood indicate the prostate, which produces it, is not working properly with cancer a potential cause.

Men with a PSA level higher than 0.6 at age 40 are considered to be at high risk of developing the cancer, or above 0.7 in men over 50.

"There is now strong evidence that having a baseline PSA test at age 40 is a smart move which can help determine whether a man is in a low risk or high risk category, enabling appropriate follow-up to occur," he said.

Dr Malouf said there was firm data that PSA testing reduced the risk of men being diagnosed with the cancer in its advanced stage, and that treatment at an early stage reduced the risk of death. A family history of the cancer can also indicate a man faces a higher risk.

Byron Wilson from the Northern Rivers Prostate Cancer Support Group agrees that early testing is essential. …

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