Rule Against PSA Tests Fails, Prostate Screening Continues
A recent study suggests that the number of men that undergo PSA Test remains steady. This is despite the previous ruling against the particular screening for prostate cancer. The US Preventive Services Task Force had discouraged men from undergoing PSA Test back in 2012.
PSA Test Still Continues
Researchers have analyzed electronic medical records from 275,784 men. They discovered that there were 63,722 PSA tests ordered in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. This is from the year 2010 to 2015.
They compared the number before and after the 2012 ruling. It did not change significantly based on the data.
According to Live Science, this is contrary to previous studies. Dr. Yair Lotan, one of the study's authors, have dismissed the claim of supposed big change after the 2012 ruling.
He said that their recent study is a lot more reliable. They did not use surveys as their basis. Dr. Lotan pointed out that they used actual real-world data.
The Ruling Against PSA Test
The US Preventive Services Task Force found out that PSA or the prostate-specific antigen test was not reliable enough. It is inconsistent in detecting prostate cancer. Apparently, some men who don't have PSA in their blood have received positive results.
The overwhelming presence of PSA in the blood does not always mean one has prostate cancer.
The pros of PSA tests don't outweigh the cons. This is what the task force concluded. They added that the mistaken positive results can be harmful to patients.
It causes anxiety, unnecessary follow-up tests, and overtreatment. The latter can lead to erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and bowel control problems.
Those Who Don't Oppose PSA Testing
Contrary to the task force, The American Cancer Society lets the men decide about PSA testing. It's up to their doctors if they really need the PSA screening.
The said test is conducted based on the risk and family history. Men can be tested at the age of 50 for average risk of prostate cancer. However, it's a lot earlier for men who have a family history of cancer. Prostate cancer normally hits patients at the age of 60.
The recent study is published in the journal Cancer.
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