Dr. Harris on PSA Testing and Active Surveillance in Prostate Cancer

Richard Harris, MD
Published: Monday, Feb 06, 2017



Richard Harris, MD, urologist, UroPartners, discusses the respective roles of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and active surveillance in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer.

PSA screening represents the main method for early detection in prostate cancer. There will be approximately 180,000 to 200,000 newly diagnosed cases this year alone, highlighting the importance of PSA testing as a main tool for early detection.

The issue, then, is not necessarily whether or not PSA testing should be performed, but if a patient should have a biopsy and find prostate cancer, what the next course of action is, and who exactly should receive treatment. To not perform PSA testing, says Harris, would possibly condemn several more men to present with advanced disease, for which there is no cure for yet.

According to Harris, many urologists feel that physicians have generally been overly aggressive in their treatment approaches in prostate cancer in the past several years. Since learning from those mistakes, oncologists in this space are now observing many of these patients once they are diagnosed. Harris says as many as 30% to 50% of patients with prostate cancer can be put onto this active surveillance track before they are administered aggressive therapies.



Richard Harris, MD, urologist, UroPartners, discusses the respective roles of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and active surveillance in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer.

PSA screening represents the main method for early detection in prostate cancer. There will be approximately 180,000 to 200,000 newly diagnosed cases this year alone, highlighting the importance of PSA testing as a main tool for early detection.

The issue, then, is not necessarily whether or not PSA testing should be performed, but if a patient should have a biopsy and find prostate cancer, what the next course of action is, and who exactly should receive treatment. To not perform PSA testing, says Harris, would possibly condemn several more men to present with advanced disease, for which there is no cure for yet.

According to Harris, many urologists feel that physicians have generally been overly aggressive in their treatment approaches in prostate cancer in the past several years. Since learning from those mistakes, oncologists in this space are now observing many of these patients once they are diagnosed. Harris says as many as 30% to 50% of patients with prostate cancer can be put onto this active surveillance track before they are administered aggressive therapies.


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TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 1st Annual International Congress of Oncology Pathology™: Towards Harmonization of Pathology and Oncology StandardsAug 30, 20182.0
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
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