There has been much discussion over the years about the pros and cons of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. And this past May, a U.S. government task force sparked controversy with its recommendation that doctors not routinely screen healthy men for prostate cancer using the test.
To continue the conversation on prostate cancer and screening, and in recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we've asked Eila Skinner, MD, chair of the urology department at Stanford, to respond to your questions on the disease and the latest research advancements in diagnosis and treatment.
The second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. Nearly two thirds are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older and one in six men in America will be diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society.
One of the most highly respected urologic surgeons in the nation, Skinner served as the vice chair of the urology department at the University of Southern California prior to being named chair here in February. Her primary research interests are in the area of cancer prevention, bladder cancer and urinary tract reconstruction. As medical director of the "Real Men Cook" Foundation since 2003, she has coordinated education and screening for prostate cancer for more than 1,000 Los Angeles-area African-American and Latino men annually.
Questions can be submitted to Skinner by either sending a tweet that includes the hashtag #AskSUMed or posting your question in the comments section below. We'll collect questions until Tuesday (Sept. 11) at 5 pm.
When submitting questions, please abide by the following ground rules:
- Stay on topic
- Be respectful to the person answering your questions
- Be respectful to one another in submitting questions
- Do not monopolize the conversation or post the same question repeatedly
- Kindly ignore disrespectful or off topic comments
- Know that Twitter handles and/or names may be used in the responses
Skinner will respond to a selection of the questions submitted, but not all of them, in a future entry on Scope.
Finally - and you may have already guessed this - an answer to any question submitted as part of this feature is meant to offer medical information, not medical advice. These answers are not a basis for any action or inaction, and they're also not meant to replace the evaluation and determination of your doctor, who will address your specific medical needs and can make a diagnosis and give you the appropriate care.
Previously: Study calls for increased awareness for minorities and gay men following prostate cancer treatment, Making difficult choices about prostate cancer and To screen or not to screen? When it comes to prostate and breast cancers, that's still the question
Photo by Alatryste