Prostate cancer affects 230,000 men each year. Although diagnoses are increasing worldwide, most people die with prostate cancer and not of prostate cancer, according to Mark Pomerantz, MD, a medical oncologist in Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology.
In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Pomerantz discusses genetics, risk factors, and the controversy surrounding the PSA test, a test that can detect levels of prostate-specific antigen in the body. Although PSA testing can help diagnose prostate cancer, it is not universally recommended in the U.S.
“If men are going to die with the disease rather than because of the disease, there are consequences to finding prostate cancer,” explains Pomerantz. “It leads to the psychological impact of having a cancer diagnosis and, more troubling, overtreatment of the disease.”
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Pomerantz also discusses the promise of gene therapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials for men with prostate cancer. “Over time, we are more and more confident that we can safely manage patients without needing immediate cure,” he says.
The Cancer Conversations series features Q&A-style conversations with Dana-Farber physicians, clinicians, and researchers. Topics include breast cancer research, precision cancer medicine, integrative therapies, cancer genetics, and more. Visit the Cancer Conversations page for more episodes and the Dana-Farber podcast page for more cancer podcast series.