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Urologists 'Outraged' Over PSA Test Challenge

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2012

The report said that over-diagnosis and overtreatment becomes an "inevitability" with PSA testing, which "means that many men will experience the adverse effects of diagnosis and treatment of a disease that would have remained asymptomatic throughout their lives. Assessing the balance of benefits and harms requires weighing a moderate to high probability of early and persistent harm from treatment against the very low probability of preventing a death from prostate cancer in the long term," the report said.

Siegel said the report ignores or fails to explain the dramatic decrease in deaths from prostate cancer over the last several decades.

"About 250,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. That has stayed pretty stable. It is the death rates that have come down significantly," he says.

"In the last 30 years the deaths have dropped from 48,000 to 28,000 a year. The surgery is better. The radiation is somewhat better. But there haven't been significant advances except in some of the surgical techniques to explain this, other than screening."

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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".