Some men in Maryland may be among those who are choosing to not be screened for Prostate cancer based on new guidelines. These new guidelines advise that screening should only be done for men in high-risk categories and for those with a family history of cancer.
However, some doctors say this could be a troubling trend. The occurrence of Prostate cancer seems to be on the decline, but this could be correlated to the fact that screenings for middle-aged men are becoming more and more infrequent. The recommendation to cut back on screenings occurred because the tests were sometimes leading to unnecessary surgery, radiation and other side effects. According to one study, among men 50 and over, detection dropped 18 percent between 2010 and 2013.
Some doctors say that the change may be a good thing if it is the result of a discussion between patient and physician of the risks and benefits and an agreement between the two to skip the testing. While it is acknowledged that the approach to Prostate cancer in the past has been too aggressive, some doctors say that this approach should be tailored to a patient's needs and circumstances.
In some cases, failing to screen for Prostate cancer might mean that a patient does not have the opportunity to take advantage of early treatment. The patient might suffer from a type of Prostate cancer that is faster moving and would benefit from early detection. If a patient is in a high-risk group and a doctor does not recognize signs of Prostate cancer or refuses to screen the patient, this may be representative of a negligent physician and medical malpractice.