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Prostate cancer diagnosis, screening drops after government-appointed panel's guidance

CHICAGO — An American Cancer Society study says far fewer U.S. men are being diagnosed with early prostate cancer and getting blood tests to detect the disease. That's since an influential government-appointed panel recommended against routine screening more than three years ago.

A big question remains: Did that shift have any effect on death rates from prostate cancer?

Doctor groups used to recommend routine, yearly PSA screening starting at age 50. Elevated levels sometimes indicate prostate cancer, but they also can be caused by other things.

PSA screening can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of tumors that will never pose a threat.

The panel's advice against screening has been debated but the research suggests it's being followed.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press

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