Debate over detecting cancer in men - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Debate over detecting cancer in men

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Medical doctors say many of the major health and cancer risks men face can be prevented.

Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington has started using low dose CAT scans to screen for lung cancer, rather than a chest X-ray. While prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, lung cancer is the number one killer of men.

"There was a recently completed national trial looking at chest X-ray versus low-dose CAT scan looking for screening for early stage lung cancer and they found there was a better survival rate and more cancers detected in people who had a low-dose CAT scan for screening for lung cancer. And we are starting to implement the screening protocols at FAHC," said Dr. Bruce Leavitt, a cardiothoracic surgeon at FAHC and UVM.

And when it comes to prostate cancer, a common blood test called PSA had been used to detect early cancer, but there has been some controversy over whether it is effective.

"There was a large study nationally in terms of recommendations saying that PSA shouldn't be offered to all men any more. I can say that I think that decision is going to be reversed in the coming years because we have seen prostate cancer deaths have gone down by almost half since PSA started being used," said Dr. Mark Plante, the chief of urology at FAHC.

Doctors say starting at age 50, men should talk to their physicians about screenings for these cancers.

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