You may be asking yourself the question as to why a government panel would reject a prostate screening test that could save a life. This news is getting posted on many medical websites.
The panel decided that the harm of the screening test outweighs the benefit for preventing prostate cancer.
The following is an article from a Boston publication.
.“Our most optimistic estimate is that 1 out of 1,000 men screened will
avoid dying from prostate cancer” because of early detection via the PSA
test, said Dr. Michael LeFevre, co-vice chair of the task force. “We’re
not saying it’s zero. We’re leaving the window open for at least a
“It’s hard to understand where they’re coming from,” said Dr. Anthony
D’Amico, chief of genitourinary radiation oncology at Brigham and
Women’s Hospital, in an interview.
D’Amico argued that the task force relied too heavily on data from a
flawed study and failed to consider making separate recommendations for
men in high-risk groups, such as those with a family history of prostate
cancer and African Americans, who have a two to three times greater
risk of dying of the cancer than white men.
The task force, which is comprised of 16 primary care physicians and
public health experts with no financial interests in tests or
treatments, issues screening and other preventive health recommendations
that tend to be more conservative than those of medical societies --
composed mostly of specialists who treat diseases detected through
screening -- or patient advocacy groups.
Former New England Patriots player Mike Haynes, a paid spokesperson for
the urological association, said in an interview that he was diagnosed
with prostate cancer in 2008, at age 55, after getting a free screening
PSA test at an NFL event for retired players, sponsored by the
urological association. He said he wasn’t told about any of the risks of
the tests such as false positive results, unnecessary biopsies, and
overtreatment of slow-growing cancers. His elevated PSA and subsequent
biopsy revealed a stage 1, slow-growing cancer, and he said, “one of my
options was watchful waiting, but my immediate reaction was let’s get it
out of my system.”
He considers himself lucky, however, in that the only side effect he had
from his surgery was a few months of urinary incontinence that has
To read the complete article : http://www.boston.com/dailydose/2012/05/21/psa-screening-for-prostate-cancer-gets-thumbs-down-from-federal-panel/ip80Gu1FRujF8B7mTGfNEJ/story.html
What do you think of the the panel's decision?