Men Say: Forget About Forgetting PSA Test

I guess for men, it's like mammography for us.  The experts keep changing their minds how often -- or if -- we should have these tests.

But despite fairly solid proof that prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests for prostate cancer are unnecessary, if not downright harmful, men still want them, according to a new study, as reported at

The story notes that PSAs can be harmful because, if levels are above recommended numbers, doctors frequently do biopsies and other painful procedures that could possibly permanently harm patients who might not have needed them at all.

New advice just out suggests certain men should not be screened routinely for prostate cancer (I once heard, if you live long enough, every man will get it, but few will die from it).

The article pointed out that researchers found that, though 61% of the men surveyed agreed with the new PSA testing recommendation and 69% "were confident that the recommendation was based on the latest research, only 13 percent intended to follow it and not get a PSA test."

More than half the men (54 percent) surveyed still plan to get a PSA test in the future, and one-third of participants were undecided.

“Since cancer screening has been promoted as a way to save lives, this recommendation may seem counterintuitive to many people,” quoted Linda Squiers, Ph.D., senior health communication scientist at RTI and the paper's lead author. "We need to do a better job of presenting both the benefits and harms of screening to all patients and explaining the science behind the recommendation in plain language so everyone can understand it."

Researchers only ruled out the annual test for men ages 40 to 54 and 70 and older.  Men between 55 and 69 should still be screened yearly, the study said.

As the wife of a man whose levels rose a bit over this last year, I have to admit that it spooked me a little.  A cancer survivor myself, I nagged him to get a second opinion because his urologist was not at all concerned.  I've learned not to trust doctors so much anymore, after my oncologist "missed" my second cancer because he didn't think the mass on the mammogram needed follow-up.


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

End Your Texts With a Period? Don't