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University of Iowa News Release

May 23, 2006

Iowa Adopts New Guidelines To Screen For Prostate Cancer In Older Men

New, uniform guidelines for health care providers to screen and manage prostate cancer in men age 75 and older are being adopted across Iowa.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin malignancy diagnosed in men in the United States. Relative to its population, Iowa has one of the highest proportions of men age 75 and older in the country.

The guideline development involved the University of Iowa Department of Urology, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI, the Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)

The project is the only comprehensive state-level effort to determine best practices for prostate cancer screening in older men, said project director Badrinath Konety, M.D., adjunct associate professor of urology in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and an associate professor at the University of California in San Francisco.

"Screening for prostate cancer in older men has been taking place without any uniformity," Konety said. "The guidelines aim to make screening selective in each man older than age 75 based on his overall level of function and whether he has other illnesses."

Iowa health care providers will use the guidelines to explain to a patient if the test is right for him. An instructional video for patients is being developed and should be ready within a year. Iowa health care providers who have not received the guidelines or have questions may contact Beth Allen at the UI at 319-384-6041 or

"These prostate cancer guidelines for the targeted age group give health care professionals in Iowa a standardized approach to screen, diagnose and treat prostate cancer," said Holly Smith, program coordinator for the IDPH Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. "With the growing elderly population in Iowa, the recommendations have the potential to improve the quality of life and save lives for men age 75 and older."

The effort was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has been endorsed by the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians, the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Physicians and the Iowa Urologic Society.

For background, see this March 22, 2005, UI news release:

The Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control includes more than 100 individuals and 50 agencies and organizations across the state. The consortium developed a strategic cancer control plan in 2003 to decrease the burden of cancer in Iowa.

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer. Visit the center online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACTS: Media: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660; Program: Beth Allen, UI Department of Urology, 319-384-6041,