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Urologists 'Outraged' Over PSA Test Challenge

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2012

Siegel says he is concerned about "the greatest damage" the report will have on prostate screenings for African-American men, who are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer.

"I have been a urologist for almost 30 years. When I started training, 40% of African-American men at that time presented with metastatic disease. Now that number is miniscule," Siegel says. "Tell me how that happens without early screening? How do death rates go down from 48,000 when I trained to 28,000 now? How do you explain that without screening? You can't! It's impossible!"

Even though the test is being discouraged by the task force, Siegel says he believes many men and their physicians will want to keep the option on the table.

"If I am with a patient, I'm going to tell them 'we have a blood test to help diagnose prostate cancer. Yes, there are false positives. But if you have prostate cancer, do you want to know or do you want to play Russian roulette?'" he says. "Of course, I wouldn't say it like that. But that is the question. Who's going to say no?"  


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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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".