Routine PSA Tests For Men Rejected By Expert Panel

The definitive answer is in on regular PSA screening for men.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that the prostate-specific antigen test is not providing ample benefit and the risks of population-wide screening outweigh the benefits.

The test, which measures a protein in the blood, does not diagnose cancer. It looks for a tell-tale sign that cancer may be present. (The other commonly used technique, a DRE, or digital rectal exam, is used by doctors to feel for prostate abnormalities that have already become palpable.) A positive test usually kicks off a series of events such as a confirming biopsy, and then treatments including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone deprivation.
Because the test often results in false positives, and because it can’t tell how aggressive or benign a cancer may be, doctors and patients are often in the dark about whether the tumor requires treatment. So, out of caution, most men with positive PSA tests are biopsied and, if cancer is found, treated.
“Thus,” the task force stated, “many men are being subjected to the harms of treatment of prostate cancer that will never become symptomatic. PSA-based screening for prostate cancer results in considerable overtreatment and its associated harms.”

This decision, however, is met with controversy and you should always consult with your physician.

All cases are different and mitigating circumstances come into play with the health of each individual.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>