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Dr. Adam Zolotor thinks physicians should diagnose prostate cancer based on symptoms rather than screening. "I would pose to you that a usual source of care and a trusted physician or health care provider is the No. 1 thing we can do to get men diagnosed earlier and treated earlier," he said.

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Steven Patierno, deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute, disagrees withe the decision that screening is not helpful. He says the guidelines don't take into account prostate cancer's slow-growing nature.

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In 2011, a panel of medical experts said that men, regardless of age, should not get the long-used blood test for prostate cancer. The panel’s recommendations caused an instant uproar, with dissent coming in particular from urologists and oncologists.

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The likelihood of black men getting prostate cancer and dying from it represent two of the biggest gaps between the health of black and white men in the United States. The gulf is particularly wide in North Carolina, where the odds of dying from prostate cancer are among the worst in the nation.

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