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Cancer Screening in Queensland Men

Carriere, Philippe, Baade, Peter D., Newman, Beth M., Aitken, Joanne F., & Janda, Monika (2007) Cancer Screening in Queensland Men. Medical Journal of Australia, 186(8), pp. 404-407.

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Abstract

There are currently three main tests in use in clinical practice for the early detection of cancer in men: the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, the faecal occult blood test (FOBT), and clinical whole-body skin examination. Screening with the PSA test is perhaps the most controversial, because of the test’s low positive predictive value, its inability to distinguish clinically indolent cancers, and a lack of evidence for reduced mortality.1 An individualized approach to PSA testing is recommended in Australia, based on a discussion of risks and benefits with patients.2 The wide-spread use of PSA testing in general practice,3 however, surpasses what would be expected based on scientific evidence alone.

In contrast, the FOBT for colorectal cancer has been shown to reduce mortality.4 Screening with FOBT is currently recommended in Australia for asymptomatic individuals aged 50 years or older,4 and a National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is currently being phased in, providing formal population-based screening by FOBT.5

Screening for melanoma consists of a clinical whole-body skin examination. As there is no conclusive evidence that skin screening reduces mortality, population screening for melanoma is not currently recommended.6 Some health bodies recommend such examinations opportunistically, or annually for high-risk individuals, such as those with a numerous moles.2, 6

These recommendations largely rely on doctors and patients making informed decisions as to whether to proceed with cancer screening. However, there is increasing evidence that men over 50 years make sub-optimal use of preventive services, such as cancer screening.7 Our population-based study describes the self-reported use of PSA tests, FOBTs, and whole-body skin examinations among Queensland men aged 50-75 years.

Impact and interest:

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13 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 13975
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Prostate Cancer, Colon Cancer, Melanoma, Early Detection
ISSN: 0025-729X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Deposited On: 04 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:38

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