No Prostate Cancer PSA Screening Recommended By U.S. Health Panel – Follow Up – Experts Bash Panel

October 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

No Prostate Cancer PSA Screening Recommended By U.S. Health Panel – Follow Up – Experts Bash Panel

Just like the oncologist and the prostate cancer survivor who opposed the proposed “no prostate cancer PSA screening” to be recommended by the U.S. health panel, as noted in our follow-up news articles some hours ago, more experts have continued to not just oppose the move, but bash it as well.

While the oncologist in our follow up explained that the tests were still very important, the prostate cancer survivor for many years insists that he was able to survive the condition because of the early tests. So, indeed, the early tests seem to have helped lots of people survive this condition.

Read what the experts/specialists have to say about this so-called proposed no PSA screening recommendation:

(CBS/AP) Prostate cancer specialists are pushing back against an expert panel’s recommendation that healthy men shouldn’t get PSA blood tests for detecting prostate cancer.

“We all agree that we’ve got to do a better job of figuring out who would benefit from PSA screening,” said Dr. Scott Eggener, a prostate cancer specialist at the University of Chicago. “But a blanket statement of just doing away with it altogether … seems over-aggressive and irresponsible.”

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force had examined all the evidence and found little if any reduction in deaths from routine PSA screening, but it did conclude that too many men are diagnosed with tumors that never would have killed them and suffer serious side effects because of it.

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Deepak Kapoor, chairman and chief executive of Integrated Medical Professionals, which includes the nation’s largest urology practice, disagreed to the New York Times, saying “We will not allow patients to die, which is what will happen if this recommendation is accepted.”

The idea that finding cancer early can be more harmful than helpful is a tough one to grasp – but it’s at the heart of this debate.

According to the task force, high levels of PSA in the bloodstream – or prostate-specific antigen – only sometimes signals prostate cancer. But it can also indicate an infection or an enlarged prostate, or tiny tumors that may never pose a threat. There’s no way to tell in advance who needs aggressive treatment.

In fact, most men who undergo a biopsy for an abnormal PSA test don’t have prostate cancer. By one estimate screening detects small tumors that will prove too slow-growing to be deadly in two of every five men whose cancer is caught through a PSA test. Treatments, including radiation and surgery, often carry significant risks of side effects. These include incontinence, impotence, or other complications that can lead to death.

“If we had a test that could distinguish between a cancer that was going to be aggressive and a cancer that was not, that would be fabulous,” task force chair Dr. Virginia Moyer of the Baylor College of Medicine, said.

That task force’s recommendation isn’t final – it’s a draft open for public debate. Clearly the debate is already under way.

“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is a group of primary care physicians like pediatricians and OB/GYNs who never treat prostate cancer,” Dr. Herbert Lepor, professor of urology at New York University School of Medicine, told Reuters. “They have simply misinterpreted the studies and have not seen men die of this fatal disease.” Read more from CBS news.

Clearly, this is going to be a fierce debate to see whether the proposed recommendation sees the light of day.

We are really concerned about this proposed recommendation because of the lives that might be negatively affected if people adhere to it. But then again, if it can be proven, beyond ALL reasonable doubts that early screening won’t save more lives from this cancer, then it’s a good thing. But can it be proven beyond ALL reasonable doubts? That’s the question!

No Prostate Cancer PSA Screening Recommended By U.S. Health Panel – Follow Up – Experts Bash Panel

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