The Director of Urologic Oncology at LSU Health Sciences Center says more men in Louisiana are confirmed to have prostate cancer.
"What that really tells us is that we have an above average diagnosis rate for prostate cancer," Dr. Scott Delacroix stated.
He says just because more men are screened for prostate cancer does not mean they will get sick or die from it.
"Just by the mere fact that we have a higher incidence rate does not mean that we necessarily have worse outcomes or that an individual man has a higher likelihood of actually harboring the disease," Delacroix noted.
He says it may just be that there is more aggressive screening in Louisiana, and begs the debate about if so many men should be screened.
The cancer expert also insists that most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should do nothing about it.
"Once men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, if they are not properly educated, they are more likely to have unnecessary treatments and suffer the risk of complications from those treatments, when in the first place if the prostate cancer would not have been found, those men would have lived normal lives," Dr. Delacroix explained. "A majority of them never would have been impacted by the disease in the first place."
Those impacts of treatment include impotence and needing to wear diapers.
Listen to Dr. Scott Delacroix:
He says too many patients and doctors do not differentiate between significant and insignificant prostate cancer.
"Patients need to understand the difference... and really only be treated for the significant cancer," according the Delacroix. "A majority of patients are diagnosed with clinically insignificant prostate cancer."
He says that leads to men seeking treatment the do not need.
"A majority of men who are diagnosed will ultimately get treated, and that is inappropriate on multiple levels."
Delacroix urges men who are diagnosed to seek several opinions and be sure to discuss the difference between significant cancer and insignificant cancer before having any treatment.