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Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men of all races, including Latinos. Latino have lower rates of prostate cancer than Whites, but are more likely to die from the disease.
One of the reasons this happens is that Latinos are less likely to get “timely, high-quality treatment,” according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
New guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) have shed new light on how all men should approach prostate cancer screenings.
The USPTF’s new recommendations say that all men younger than 70 with no signs of prostate cancer may no longer be discouraged by their physicians from checking their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
In 2012, the task force recommended against routinely checking PSA levels in the blood, saying that “the risks outweighed the rewards.”US
“We were very concerned in 2012 that many, many men were being treated for prostate cancer,” Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a University of California, San Francisco professor and chairwoman of the task force, told CNN. “The balance has shifted, and now we can recommend that men have a conversation with their doctors about screening.”
The ACS has determined that prostate cancer will be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latino men, accounting for 22% of new cases.
It is also the fourth-most common cause of death for Latino men.
One reason that the USPTF has shifted its point of view on testing is based on research that came out in 2016 which found that doctors could safely monitor a patient’s prostate cancer largely through PSA checks.
“Men who have low-risk prostate cancer, they don’t have to go right away to aggressive treatment,” Bibbins-Domingo said.
Ultimately, it is up to the patient to decide whether or not to get tested.
“Some men who are very concerned about prostate cancer will elect to be screened, and others who are less concerned will elect not to be screened,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the ACS. “Either decision should be supported.”
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By The Numbers
of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage