Personalizing the Approach to Prostate Cancer

Man sits in exam room while meeting with a healthcare professional

Cancer remains the #2 cause of death in the United States, with more than 600,000 deaths and nearly 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses each year. This April, during National Cancer Control Month, the U.S. White House notes a renewed commitment to improving cancer prevention, promoting early detection, enhancing treatment, and supporting the needs of cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

Making prostate cancer more preventable, detectable, and treatable is an important part of moving the needle on cancer. One in nine American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making this the second most common cancer. Only skin cancer is more prevalent in American men.

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Although this “one in nine men” is an often-repeated statistic about prostate cancer risk; it can be misleading because risk is not spread evenly throughout a man’s lifespan. The risk for prostate cancer rises dramatically after age 50. Six out of 10 prostate cancers are in men age 65+. Race is another risk factor for prostate cancer, with Black men having a higher risk. In addition, anyone with a close relative with prostate cancer will see double the risk for themselves.

The American Cancer Society continues to recommend prostate cancer screening at these ages:

  • Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer (e.g., Black men or any man with a close relative who had prostate cancer younger than age 65).
  • Age 40 for men at even higher risk (e.g., those with multiple relatives with an early age prostate cancer).

However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated and revised their recommendations to a “personalized decision-making” approach for men ages 55-69. This recommendation is for both men of average risk and for those of increased risk. This approach calls for PSA screening decisions to be based on a discussion between a patient and their doctor that includes the balance of both benefits and potential harms. The task force does recommend PSA screenings for all men age 70+.

For patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy is ready to partner with your office as the ‘fast & easy’ way to get your patients referred for the specialty medications they need.