Detection of one of the world’s most prevalent cancers, prostate cancer, has become “completely confused,” says Dr. James Hebert, director of USC’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer among men, yet there is plenty of disagreement about how to detect it. He says major stakeholders have different opinions.
Two leading scientists on either side of the issue are part of a symposium at USC to try to help clarify the debate —-and Herbert hopes it will help frame and resolve the issue.
Dr. Richard Ablin, who discovered the prostate specific antigen (PSA), and Dr. Oliver Sartor, the lead investigator for two of the most important breakthroughs in prostate cancer treatment, spoke Thursday at USC.
Ablin wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times that PSA testing had resulted in some men receiving “unnecessary and debilitating treatment” for prostate cancer.
The discussion being held in South Carolina “pushes the debate further,” says Hebert, because African-American men in South Carolina have a prostate cancer death rate that is about 2.5 times that of European-American men and about 50 percent higher than African-Americans in the rest of the U.S.
Who is listening to this high-level discussion held today and tomorrow?
“The people who treat the disease and the people who screen for the disease who are primary care doctors,” says Hebert, ” and the people who are at risk..who are virtually every man.”
AUDIO: Excerpt on interview with Dr. Hebert, director of USC’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.