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Prostate Cancer Overtreated in Central Texas

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:13 PM CDT

Are prostate cancer patients being overtreated for financial gain? That's why one oncologist says is happening in Central Texas and across the country.

"Physicians are screening and finding early stage prostate cancers that might not need to be treated significantly and then also treating them with the most expensive treatment," said Dr. Subhakar Mutyala, a Radiation Oncologist at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX. Dr. Mutyala cited a report from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Dr. Mutyala says since prostate cancer is a very slow-growing cancer, many times the only treatment necessary is observation. Yet, Dr. Mutyala says some oncologists recommend Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy or IMRT Radiation which can cost in excess of $30,000.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Dr. Mutyala says to consider all treatment options. If a doctor doesn't discuss surgery, radiation and observation with you, that can be a red flag. Also, watch out for any physician who discourages a second opinion.

Dr. Mutyala says less than 10 percent of people die from prostate cancer.

The recommendations for prostate cancer screenings has also changed recently. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) recommends that middle-aged men not receive the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) because research has shown that the benefits of testing do not outweigh the risks, which include false positive results.

Dr. Mutyala says he recommends screening only for men experiencing urinary symptoms or a history of prostate cancer in their family. However, if you do want a prostate cancer screening, he recommends discussing the risks and benefits thoroughly with your physician beforehand.

For more information on the American Urological Association's new recommendation for prostate screenings, visit their website.

--Deeda Payton, KEYE TV News.

Prostate Cancer Overtreated in Central Texas

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