Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. In 2004, nearly 20 million men in the United States will be confronted with important decisions regarding early detection for prostate cancer. In brief, the dilemma is that because not all men with prostate cancer die of the disease, treatment is not necessary for some patients. However, an estimated 29,900 patients will die of prostate cancer in 2004. Therefore, differentiating between patients whose cancer is clinically insignificant and those whose disease will progress is a challenge. The NCCN Prostate Cancer Early Detection Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology provide a set of sequential recommendations detailing a screening and subsequent work-up strategy for maximizing the detection of prostate cancer in an organ-confined state while attempting to minimize unnecessary procedures.
For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit NCCN.org