March 3, 2010 / 4:40 PM / 10 years ago

Factbox: To screen for prostate cancer, or not?

(Reuters) - New prostate cancer guidelines from the American Cancer Society stress more than ever the importance of informing men about the risks and benefits of early screening.

To help with the conversation, the guidelines recommend specific tools to help men make an informed choice about getting the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood test.

While PSA testing has been widely used since the mid-1980s, it is not clear whether early testing saves lives and some studies suggest it has led to over-treatment of cancers that might never have caused any harm.

Here is a sampling of online decision support tools recommended by the American Cancer Society.

* The American Cancer Society has a document called “Should I be tested for Prostate Cancer” that is available at www.cancer.org/prostatemd

* The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making offers a video and online interactive resource called “Is a PSA Test Right For You?” at http://www.healthdialog.com

* The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has several resources, including "Prostate Cancer Screening: A Decision Guide" here

For blacks, who have a higher risk, the CDC offers "Prostate Cancer Screening: A decision Guide for African Americans here

And it has a Spanish-language versihere

* The Mayo Clinic offers an online resource here

* And the University of Cardiff in Britain offers an interactive resource called “PROSDEX: A PSA Decision Aid” at www.prosdex.com

SOURCE: The American Cancer Society/ CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago, editing by Philip Barbara

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