More on prostate cancer screening

Medpundit and DB has chimed in on the mainstream coverage of the deficiencies of PSA screening for prostate cancer that was discussed here on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Medpundit writes:

Beware of organizations made up of hospitals and urologists who call for lower thresholds for treatment. They have much to gain from the increased number of biopsies such lower thresholds would produce. Unfortunately, it’s far from clear that patients would benefit as well.

Completely agree. As I have stated before, there is no mortality data that PSA screening saves lives. Lowering the thresholds would simply increase the amount of unnecessary testing.

DB writes:

We can try to interpret the evidence, although that will not necessarily protect us from malpractice . . . We can just believe in the religion of PSA testing. We could biopsy all men (not me thank you very much).

It seems that this is what we’re heading towards. What point is there doing a PSA if a “normal” result misses cancer anyways? In today’s environment, physicians are going to be defensive and will lean towards empiric biopsies.

Bottom line – a better test is needed than a PSA. Before we know it, the prostate biopsy will become the defacto screening standard.

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