Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Prostate Cancer and the ACA

As we have been writing for the past seven years the ACA and the USPSTF have  stated that PSA tests and prostate exams have no merit. In Science Daily they report:

The number of new cases of metastatic prostate cancer climbed 72 percent in the past decade from 2004 to 2013, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. The report considers whether a recent trend of fewer men being screened may be contributing to the rise, or whether the disease has become more aggressive -- or both. The largest increase in new cases was among men 55 to 69 years old, which rose 92 percent in the past decade. This rise is particularly troubling, the authors said, because men in this age group are believed to benefit most from prostate cancer screening and early treatment.In addition, the average PSA (prostate-specific antigen) of men who were diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in 2013 was 49, nearly double that for men diagnosed in 2004 with an average PSA of 25, indicating a greater extent of disease at diagnosis.

In the the article by Weiner et al  they note:

Beginning in 2007, the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer has increased especially among men in the age group thought most likely to benefit from definitive treatment for prostate cancer. These data highlight the continued need for nationwide refinements in prostate cancer screening and treatment.....Although the social and biologic factors underlying these PSA escapes and rising metastatic prostate cancer cases are unknown, the implications of these recent trends highlight the continued need for nationwide refinements in prostate cancer screening and treatment to prevent the morbidity and mortality associated with metastatic prostate cancer. This will be particularly critical for population health economics in the United States considering the added cost of care for metastatic prostate cancer and an aging constituency whose population over the age 65 years will double to over a projected 80 million by the year 2050. In addition, our findings and forthcoming changes in the number of elderly individuals should provide impetus to improve treatments for men with metastatic prostate cancer whose cancer-specific survival has not changed significantly in the past two decades.

Thanks to the ACA and their minions we have managed to see the excruciating increase in death from a manageable disease.