The United States Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) have recommended that healthy men should no longer receive a prostate Specific Antigen blood test to screen for prostate cancer, because the test does not save lives over all and often leads to more tests and treatments that needlessly cause pain, impotence and incontinence (Lin et al., 2011). However the USPSTF have recommended early cancer screening will have a better prognosis and decrease mortality rate. The European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine documented that screening resulted in a 20 percent reduction in prostate cancer mortality (Schröder et al., 2009).
Since PSA screening does not efficiently save lives, the policy I propose is a refocus on a more reliable prostate tumor marker that serves for screening, and free cancer screening covered by the government. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention incidence rate per 100,000 all races was 156.9 white 145.1, black 226.0, Asian/ Pacific Islander 78.2, American Indian / Alaska Native7.7 and Hispanic 121.6 and more than twice African American die from prostate cancer than any race (CDCP, 2013).
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the mortality rate prostate cancer is 21.2 white, 50.9 black (NCI, 2012); According to this statistics heath disparities and financial independence played and impotent role in increasing and decreasing mortality rates (NCI, 2012). This is why access to free cancer screening is paramount in any new policy direction on prostate cancer regardless of race, religion and income. Furthermore, it is essential to find a more reliable tumor marker that serves as a more accurate indication then the previously used prostate Specific Antigen blood test. Implementing both arms of this policy change would help tackle the problems of prostate cancer and shape social change in regards to access to treatment.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). Prostate Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity. 2012 (Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/ race.htm)
- Lin K, Croswell JM, Koenig H, Lam C, Maltz A. Prostate-Specific Antigen-Based Screening for Prostate Cancer: An Evidence Update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Evidence Synthesis No. 90. AHRQ Publication No. 12-05160-EF-1. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2011.
- National Cancer Institution (NCI). 2012. SEER stat fact sheet: Prostate. (Retrieved from: http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html)
- Schröder, F. H., Hugosson, J., Roobol, M. J., Tammela, T. L., Ciatto, S., Nelen, V., … & Auvinen, A. (2009). Screening and prostate-cancer mortality in a randomized European study. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(13), 1320-1328.