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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


Researchers have developed an online statistical tool for estimating an individual's risk of developing prostate cancer. The risk calculator is designed to help certain men and their physicians evaluate the potential risks and benefits of being screened for prostate cancer. It is available at www.compass.fhcrc.org

The calculator takes into account prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, family history, rectal examinations, and history of a prior negative prostate biopsy. Though PSA testing is widely used to assess prostate cancer risk, it does have limitations. Men with normal PSA levels can develop prostate cancer, while some men without prostate cancer can have abnormal levels.

"This risk calculator model uses variables that go beyond only PSA level to help patients and physicians decide whether a prostate biopsy should be performed," write Dr. Ian Thompson, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and his colleagues in the April 19 Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).

The calculator was developed using data from 5,500 men in the placebo group of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial; it is appropriate for men age 55 or older who have had recent PSA testing and rectal exams but no history of prostate cancer. The researchers say that the calculator improves the accuracy of PSA testing, but the use of PSA testing alone in prostate cancer screening has yet to be shown to save lives.

"The hope is that the risk calculator helps us do a better job selecting patients for biopsy," says co-author Dr. Howard Parnes of NCI, adding, "We need to be careful about how we apply the test." He raises the possibility that the calculator could lead to a large increase in the overall number of biopsies. This, in turn, could increase the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of the disease by detecting and treating cancers that would never have come to clinical attention were it not for screening.

A JNCI editorial discusses the critical need for accurate biological markers associated with life-threatening prostate cancer. "Once we have the ability to assess multiple risk factors in populations for which the long-term outcomes are known," approaches like the risk calculator will help identify those men who will benefit from active treatment, writes Dr. H. Ballentine Carter of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.