Expert Panel: PSA Screening No Good for Men

Prostate cancer test does more harm than good: advisory panel
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2012 6:24 PM CDT
A federal advisory panel warns men against blood tests for prostate cancer.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A federal panel's advice to American men: Forget about that prostate cancer screening, which does more harm than good, ABC News reports. The announcement by the United States Preventive Services Task Force today may have settled a longstanding debate about PSA blood tests, the most common screening for prostate cancer. The test includes medical procedures that lead to serious or even fatal health problems, the panel noted—so, in short, it's better to have the cancer.

"Of 1,000 men who are screened, at most one man will avoid a prostate cancer death," said a task force official. "Two to three will have blood clot, heart attack, stroke or even death from treatment of the prostate cancer." Doctors are divided over the advice, noting that PSA screening is the only test out there. "I agree that screening for prostate cancer in men in general is a bad idea," said medical professor at Penn State. "That being said, the possibility of obtaining a PSA on a man with particular circumstances should still be an option."

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