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Is PSA Test A Flop?

Men deserve to know what science now tells us about PSA screening: there is very small potential benefit and significant potential harm”

The quote above, issued in May of 2012 is from Micheal LeFever co-chairman of the US Preventative Services Task Force.

After a couple of decades of encouraging men to take this test to BE SAFE, it may actually be pretty useless and even harmful for men under 75 yrs. It would seem that the PSA test is so often wrong that way too many men are undergoing unnecessary biopsy’s, which themselves can cause all sort of very unwanted problems, not too mention can spread any cancer that may be there.

Part of the problems appears to be that Prostate Tumours are not uncommon and if left alone, often cause no harm. However the over treatment of these tumours, that is occurring due to the PSA false results, is causing lifelong problems, such as incontinence and impotence, not to mention pain, stress and anxiety, in perfectly healthy men.

[important]Also each year 1,000 to 1,300 men are reported to die from problems connected with treatments for High PSA levels. [/important]

This is simply not acceptable!

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‘The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial’ found that even in the group of men in their 60’s who have HIGH PSA scores, biopsy showed only 28% had cancer & only 3 died from it! …..

72 out of every 100 with High PSA — did NOT HAVE CANCER!

So that’s 72 out of every 100 having Unnecessary biopsies!

72 out of every 100 given false results!

72 out of every 100 with nothing to worry about!

AND

Only 3 in every 100 with high PSA scores who actually die from cancer!

Is the PSA test worthless? Pretty much!

 

That’s the conclusion the task force came to. They found over a 10 year follow up there was NO difference in cancer death rates between men who were regularly tested and those that were not. This was the case in both the US & Europe.

 

Medical professionals quote 5 year survival rates as being impressive with men who are screen surviving more than 5 years, but these are nothing more than statistically manipulations.The 10 year figures indicate that finding the cancer early makes NOT one bit of difference to when you die or if you die. You would simply be living with the anxiety of this longer.

The final recommendation from the Task force – to halt the PSA Screening tests. Unless it is specifically requested by an individual.

They also went on to add that it would be better to look for other and more accurate testing methods. Hopefully to find a way to distinguish fast growing tumours accurately, so that men over 60 with slow growing tumours, could be left alone.

Coach Lin

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent body that is authorised by US Congress. If you wish to know more about them or this report here’s the link:-

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/

 

Note disclaimer : I am not a medical professional and all information in this post and indeed this site is my opinion and not intended to treat or diagnose. You should always discuss your options with you medical professional.

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