PSA controversy and screening update tomorrow night

SAN ANTONIO (November 12, 2014) — The latest pendulum swings in the debate over using PSA tests to find prostate cancer — and a better overall approach to risk assessment — will be the topics of the next free public lecture on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center.

For years the PSA test was used to determine a man’s risk for prostate cancer. In 2012, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force gave PSA testing a “D” recommendation, sparking controversy over its use and usefulness.

“Unfortunately, many physicians have dropped it altogether,” said Ian M. Thompson III, assistant professor of urology in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center. “Instead, it would be best to have a conversation with the patient about the pros and cons of PSA screening and help him come to an informed decision.

“In other words, the physician should individualize the treatment to the patient, which is what we do here.”

Dr. Thompson will give an update on the PSA screening controversy and talk about how the Health Science Center has incorporated the test, along with other important health information, into the recently updated prostate cancer risk calculator. The calculator, which is free online, can help a man and his physician evaluate his risk for aggressive prostate cancer — or nonaggressive cancer, which may never need to be treated.

The lecture, which is open to the public, will be Thursday, Nov. 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of the CTRC’s Grossman Building, 7979 Wurzbach Rd., San Antonio. For more information call (210) 450-1152. It will be streamed live online at


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