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Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment

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    Posts Tagged ‘PSA’

    Highlights from the 8th Annual Early Detection Symposium 2012

    May 7, 2012

    Canary Foundation held the Eighth Annual Early Detection Symposium at Stanford University on May 1, 2012. Nearly 200 participants came together to share their successes, challenges, and visions for the field of early detection of cancer. The conference session included updates from four Canary cancer teams (Lung, Ovary, Pancreas and Prostate) as well as presentations on innovative early detection research from across the country. Dr. Sam Gambhir, Director of the Canary Center at Stanford, described the goals of early detection in three key phrases:

    • Identify patients that have cancer
    • Isolate the location of the tumor
    • Intervene effectively

    Attendees heard from researchers working in all three of these areas.

    Tackling the Challenge of Overdiagnosis

    One of the challenges in identifying cancer patients is avoiding overtreatment. Dr. Ruth Etzioni of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, an expert on PSA screening, dissected
    the recently released guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stating that the harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer outweigh the benefits. Dr. Etzioni presented the case for “smart” PSA screening. Current PSA screening practice results in overdiagnosis and overtreatment of men with less aggressive disease. Smart screening strategies such as age-specific PSA cutoffs combined with biennial screening could potentially reduce the amount of overdiagnosis by one third while retaining the lives saved by annual screening. Smart screening coupled with active surveillance could be of great value in reducing mortality with a much more acceptable ratio of harm to benefit. More »

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