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Urologists 'Outraged' Over PSA Test Challenge

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2012

Siegel concedes that PSA testing could lead to needless and costly procedures performed out of fear or caution.

"There is no question that men get prostate biopsies that obviously in hindsight shouldn't happen.  But we are looking at improving PSA testing and other testing to help us find out which men will progress with more advanced prostate cancer," he said.

The problem, he says, is that no one has yet come up with an alternative to determine which patients will develop advanced prostate cancer.

"Yes, it is true that many men can live with this disease their whole life. That is why active surveillance has become a treatment option," he says. "If we knew in advance who would and who wouldn't advance in the cancer, that'd be great!"

USPSTF said it could find no evidence to support claims that PSA tests are responsible for "reduction in all-cause mortality."

"In contrast, the harms associated with the diagnosis and treatment of screen-detected cancer are common, occur early, often persist, and include a small but real risk for premature death," the report said. "Many more men in a screened population will experience the harms of screening and treatment of screen-detected disease than will experience the benefit."

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4 comments on "Urologists 'Outraged' Over PSA Test Challenge"


tyco brahe (5/24/2012 at 11:06 AM)
If this objective panel looked at the data and found that the test doesn't work as a screening tool for a population, why are urologists fighting it? How much money do urologists and the test manufacturers going to lose?

Susan Ward (5/24/2012 at 10:24 AM)
This is another ploy by the federal government to eliminate payments under Medicare. With this kind of reporting, the next step will be Medicare not paying for screening PSA tests. There is a similar movement against screening mammography. It is all part of a larger plan aimed at decreasing Medicare payments.

Jonathan Raven (5/24/2012 at 9:51 AM)
Gee, at least you could have had the guts to have used the headline "Urologists 'Pissed' Over PSA Test Challenge".