cancer preventionHealth

Junk Science? Number 18: The PSA Test for Prostate Cancer

PSA tests ‘do significantly more harm than good’

At CANCERactive we have reported a number of times that PSA tests are increasingly regarded in the USA as misleading or useless. We have been consistent in our views that a single PSA test can be terribly misleading as a sign of Prostate cancer.

Now the conclusions of the American Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF) say that PSA tests for prostate cancer are unreliable, do not offer men any tangible benefit in lifespan or quality of life, and conclude that many more men are injured than helped by PSA tests.

The PSTF research concluded that only one man in a thousand tested would derive any real benefit whereas a staggering 100 will receive false positives. Many of these people will then have biopsies which can cause complications including infection.

The same study found that 90 per cent of men may be then treated with surgery or radiation for cancers that are not and will never be life-threatening, but five out of every thousand having these treatments will die within a month of initiating them. In other words, more than ten percent of all men screened for prostate cancer will generate false positives that could result in death from treatment, while a mere .001 percent or less will derive any sort of benefit.
“There is a small potential benefit and a significant known harm,” said Dr. Virginia A. Moyer, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of the task force. She and her team are recommending that the PSA test for prostate cancer be abandoned altogether, and that patients avoid the test as part of their normal checkups.

PSA, (Prostate specific antigen), is a biological marker that oncologists and doctors use to detect the presence of a potential prostate tumor. However there are many other reasons why the PSA can be high: For example, you cycled in the previous 24 hours, consumed dairy, you have prostatitis (inflammation or infection in the prostate gland), or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or you went to the gym on the way to the hospital. Equally consuming lycopene or eating a cooked tomato-rich meal will lower the score.

Also many prostate tumours are benign, would never cause serious health problems yet give high PSA readings.

Source: Natural News cancer, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

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