Separate PSA Test Guidelines for High Risk and Average Risk Men Needed

November 6, 2013

Thomas A. Farrington, at PHEN's 2012 SummitProstate cancer early detection testing using the PSA test is one of the most controversial subjects in medicine today. This on-going controversy is not good for men who depend on their doctors to provide clear guidance for their prostate health. As a prostate cancer survivor and patient advocate I sometimes sense a lack of urgency to seek solutions to this controversy which is leaving patients confused and at times frantic about what to do. Make no mistake, these patients’ decisions will translate into life or death calls for some, and they deserve clear guidance.

I believe that leaders within the prostate cancer medical profession must work towards ending the PSA test controversy by embracing what is known and accepted while continuing to seek answers for the unknown. During the past two years we have witnessed the widespread acceptance of the concept of prostate cancer overtreatment and active surveillance, along with guidance to discontinue PSA testing for older men with a limited life expectancy. In my view this represents progress towards ending the controversy.

Another area of widespread acceptance is that African American and men with a family history of prostate cancer are at high risk for being diagnosed with the disease, and that African American men die at a rate 2.5 times greater than other men with prostate cancer. It is also well known and accepted by expert researchers in the field that these high risk men were not included in significant numbers within the randomized clinical trials that are the genesis for the ongoing controversy. It is well accepted that these high risk men have a great need for clear guidance on early detection testing. PHEN has taken steps to address this need.

PHEN’s “Consensus Statement on PSA Testing for African American Men for the Early Detection of Prostate Cancer” was presented at its “Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit” on September 18th, 2013. This consensus statement is based on the “expert opinion” of the twenty three (23) prostate cancer medical experts who are signatories on it. Using this consensus statement PHEN has now published “Guidance on Early Detection Testing for Prostate Cancer for High-Risk Men” that can be clearly understood by laymen. PHEN’s Consensus Statement and Guidance targets African American and other high-risk men. However, PHEN was not the first organization to recognize the need, and take steps, to separate prostate cancer early detection guidance for average-risk and high-risk men.

The American Urological Association (AUA) released its updated early detection guidelines on May 3, 2013 with this statement: “It is important to note that the guideline statements listed in this document target men at average risk , defined as men without risk factors such as family history of prostate cancer in multiple generations and/ or family history of early onset below the age of 55 years, or African American.”

It is important to note that both the AUA and PHEN saw the need to separate their early detection guidance for the exact same reason; a lack of scientific evidence from the PSA screening trials for African American and other high-risk men. The AUA however, stopped short of providing any direct guidance for high-risk men. PHEN, on the other hand relied upon expert opinion to formulate its guidance; the only option available in the absence of scientific evidence. It is only responsible and humane to provide clear and direct guidance to the men most likely to be diagnosed with and die from prostate cancer. A failure to do so I consider gross negligence.

Widespread adoption of separate guidance for high-risk and average-risk men for prostate cancer early detection testing is clearly needed. In addition, this step will help end the ongoing controversy that currently engulfs us all. Towards these objectives I call upon the AUA, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, U. S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Cancer Society, State Cancer Control Commissions, and Prostate Cancer Patient Education and Advocacy Organizations to embrace PHEN’s Consensus Statement for the Early Detection of Prostate Cancer for African American and other High Risk Men.


“#ProstateCancer and Sex: The Rarely Di

September 11, 2013

“#ProstateCancer and Sex: The Rarely Discussed Facts.” Join the LIVE Webcast tonight at 6 pm ET. http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs190/1110588872340/archive/1114866020076.html


This month’s LIVE webcast features a pr

March 13, 2013

This month’s LIVE webcast features a presentation on post-operative #prostatecancer. Are you tuning in today at 6 pm ET? #AgainstPCa


Father’s Day Rally – A Collective Effort to Save Lives

March 5, 2013

We are truly excited to launch our “Fifth Annual Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” with a goal to reach one million persons in partnership with churches nationwide. PHEN clearly recognizes the challenge that lies ahead in accomplishing this goal. However, we believe that the successes of our Father Day Rallies since 2009 provide the foundation and impetus for meeting our objectives this year.

To realize our mission we are appealing to all churches to partner in this year’s Father’s Day effort as a unique opportunity to educate and support the health needs of your members and community. We are calling upon prostate cancer survivors and their family members to take on leadership roles within their churches in support of the Rally. This movement rests on our shoulders and we need your help.

I know there are a number of organizations and leaders within communities around the country who are performing outstanding work in the fight against prostate cancer. We invite you to join with us as a partner in this year’s Rally. Working together we have the opportunity to take a major step forward in accomplishing all our goals.

PHEN initiatives are made possible through the generous financial support of its industry partners, organizations and individuals. We will need your strong and continuing support for the success of the 2013

PHEN President, Thomas A. Farrington

PHEN President, Thomas A. Farrington

Father’s Day Rally with its expanded size and scope.

Through our collective efforts we envision a grand celebration of historical significance on Father’ Day. The impact of educating, mobilizing and fully engaging Black America in the fight against prostate cancer will be profound for us all. Lives will be saved, suffering reduced and the overall effort to find a cure for this disease will be advanced.

I sincerely thank you for your support.

Thomas A. Farrington


PHEN Webcast starts in 30 minutes! Make

February 13, 2013

PHEN Webcast starts in 30 minutes! Make sure to tune in: #ProstateCancer Wives Roundtable Discussion. http://ow.ly/hH2p5


Ladies and caregivers! Be sure to tune i

February 13, 2013

Ladies and caregivers! Be sure to tune in to today’s LIVE Webcast: “A prostate cancer survivors wives roundtable discussion” at 6 pm ET. Share your comments, questions and more during the live webcast at rapcancer@postatehealthed.org * Link will be live at 6 pm ET: http://ow.ly/hGely


Check out our February Newsletter: Survi

February 8, 2013

Check out our February Newsletter: Survivor Wives Roundtable Discussion, a Dream Team opportunity, and more…http://bit.ly/VKjd9X


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