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News » PSA tests are not as "useless" as the inventor claims

PSA tests are not as "useless" as the inventor claims

The original developer of the PSA screening blood test for prostate cancer detection has recently said that the test is virtually useless and is ineffective at detecting early or late cancer. This means that the risk of misdiagnosis is increased and many patients may suffer needless surgeries. The public was thrown into confusion as to whether to take any notice of their PSA test results at all. However, the director of prostate and colorectal cancer at the American Cancer Society claims that the test can detect early stage cancer. It is so sensitive that it seems to be detecting even very early slow-growing cancers which may not necessarily need treatment but should be monitored in case it becomes more aggressive. Thus it is needed is a method of determining which of the detected cancers are slow-growing and non-threatening and which are aggressive. The test needs to be fine-tuned rather than stopped. Some experts are worried that people will place themselves at risk of cancer death by avoiding the screening. The problem with the test is that high PSA levels can be caused by cancer or benign prostate enlargements which are a natural part of aging in men. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men over 50 should have an annual PSA screening as well as a digital rectal exam.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by HealthDay News

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About: PSA tests are not as "useless" as the inventor claims

Date: 13 November 2004

Source: HealthDay News

Author: E. J. Mundell


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