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Your Body: New guidelines for prostate exams

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Prostate cancer is diagnosed in about 180,000 men every year and leads to roughly 26,000 deaths annually. And now, the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force has changed its recommendation for prostate cancer screening, specifically related to the blood test that measures PSA, which can indicate a growing cancer.

The task force is advising men between the ages of 55 and 69 to start a conversation with their doctors about whether to have a PSA test based on each patient’s personal values and priorities.

Here’s my take: Understand the concept of risk versus benefit when it comes to cancer screening in general. Know that not all cancers go on to kill someone and in some people, the testing or treatment may actually be worse than a cancer diagnosis itself.

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