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Letter: Raising awareness about prostate cancer testing

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 3:55 p.m. CDT

To the Editor:

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

At Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, the subject of prostate cancer testing is weighing heavily on our minds.

In the recent past, two highly-respected health organizations have changed their guidelines regarding PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing, a simple blood test used to indicate possible prostate problems.

The first change came about a year ago, when the US Preventive Services Task Force stated that clinicians not screen patients with a PSA test unless the individual being screened understands and makes a personal decision to be tested.

This past spring, the American Urological Association changed its guidelines to recommend no PSA testing for men under 40 and no routine screening for men ages 40 to 54 with average risk or for any man over 70.

At Us TOO International, we recognize that changing guidelines regarding PSA testing are confusing, especially for people whose lives have been saved due to this simple blood test.

Our SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Run/Walk on Sept. 15 in Lincoln Park will offer free PSA testing for men who choose to find out and monitor PSA levels.

We also offer information to help men make a decision as to whether or not they want to be tested and to aid in their understanding of what elevated PSA levels may indicate.

For more information on our SEA Blue Walk, please visit, seablueprostatewalk.org or call Us TOO at 630-795-1002.

Together, we can raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Thomas Kirk, president and CEO of Downers Grove-based Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network 

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