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Recommendation against PSA test too drastic

  • May 22, 2012
  • Number of views: 2274
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ST. LOUIS - A new recommendation issued today by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against routine PSA testing for healthy men age 50 and older goes too far, says a prostate cancer expert at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“Routine PSA screening is not necessary for most men,” says Gerald Andriole, MD, chief of urologic surgery, who acknowledges that widespread testing has led many men with slow-growing tumors to be over diagnosed and over treated with aggressive therapies. “But that doesn’t mean that some men don’t stand to benefit. We have to take a more nuanced approach to determine which men should be screened, how frequently they should be tested and whether their cancer warrants therapy.”

In its statement against routine PSA screening, the task force says that the test does not save lives and, when positive, often leads to invasive biopsies and treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy, with side effects that can include incontinence and impotence.

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