June is Men’s Health Month in the USA and the third Sunday of June is celebrated as Father's Day. So in addition to Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September and "Movember" (grow or wear a mustache in November to show you're "committed to changing the face of men’s health") June is a good time for health organizations to stand up for men. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) does so in an advisory, "5 Things to Know About Your PSA Test."
The pathologists' organization suggests that if you're a man "heeding the advice of your wife, girlfriend or significant other," you may have decided this June "to schedule yourself for that routine physical that you've been putting off. One aspect of your visit to the doctor’s office might be a PSA test."
Jenny Potter in The North Bay Nugget, Ontario, Canada, reports "Another obstacle is out of the way for men at risk of developing prostate cancer." Unfortunately, this is not quite yet the case. As Potter says:
The Ontario government recently announced it will cover the cost of the prostate-specific antigen tests when performed at laboratories.
Currently, publicly funded tests are only available in hospitals, but picking up the tab for those performed in laboratories will make it more convenient for rural patients to be tested.
Trouble is, as Potter's report goes on to explain:
Men must meet a list of criteria in order to avoid paying $30 for the test at a local laboratory.
Patients showing symptoms of prostate cancer, who have received a diagnosis or who are directly related to someone with the disease qualify to be tested for free.
Deaths and diagnoses for prostate and several other cancers fell between 2001 to 2005, the latest years for which data have been analyzed, according to reports this week by the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society.
A new blood test for detecting prostate cancer, ProstaMark ® EPCA-2, is expected to enter large trials soon and may be available to the public in under 2 years. A study in the April issue of Urology presents evidence in support of EPCA-2 testing as a more accurate way to identify early stage and advanced cancer in the prostate. Full story