PSA

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released a 2017 draft recommendation statement on screening for prostate cancer which is based on systematic evidence review and assessment— updated from their prior 2012 version. As indicated by the authors’ viewpoint published in JAMA, the goal of this release is to raise awareness of newly acquired data on the topic while inviting review and commentary before the report is officially finalized. (1)

Because there was concern that universal PSA (aka prostate-specific antigen, a blood test) population screening often...

In a recent article, actor Ben Stiller chronicled how early diagnosis of prostate cancer - by a routine Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test - saved his life; as such, he urged all men over 40 to discuss the PSA test with their doctors.  There is no doubt that the testimony of a high-profile individual such as Mr. Stiller will cause many men to consider getting a PSA test yet we at the American Council on Science and Health and many others have been critical of it, so it is fitting that we review where science stands on the issue.

The PSA is a blood test that measures...

Courtesy medicalnewstoday.com Courtesy medicalnewstoday.com

A new study in the current JAMA Internal Medicine assessed the overall and specialty-specific response of our nation's doctors to the 2012 federal panel advisory against doing routine prostate-specific antigen testing.

In the study, coming in the form of a research letter, entitled...

Courtesy medicalnewstoday.com Courtesy medicalnewstoday.com

A recent op-ed urges federal Medicare officials to not penalize doctors for ordering the prostate-specific antigen cancer screening test, which may seem like an odd sentiment to endorse, given that the American Council on Science and Health has stated that these tests are being given too often (such as here and here.)

Dr. H. Gilbert...

Examine your prostate?The current JAMA published two articles and an editorial dissecting recent trends in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing among American men. The PSA test was introduced in the late 1980s in an attempt to use it as a reliable predictor of prostate cancer, but too many false positives and false negatives led many physicians to question its validity as a screening test. Moreover, the ramifications of false positives prostate biopsies and sometimes prostatectomies (removal of the gland) left many men...

TheFDA!Over the course of the past few weeks, we ve seen some disturbing alerts about commonly used drugs: a month ago, a large study showed a significant increased risk of heart attack associated with heartburn remedies of the proton-pump inhibitor class (PPIs): OTC drugs like Nexium and Prilosec, among many others. And only last week, the FDA revised their earlier warning on prescription...

Examine your prostate?In yesterday s New York Times, an op-ed entitled Bring Back Prostate Screening called for a renewed interest in and utilization of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test for screening men for clinically-inapparent prostate cancer. The author is Deepak A. Kapoor, a urologist and professor at the Icahn Medical School/Mt. Sinai in New York. He also happens to be chairman of health policy for the Large Urology Group Practice Association.

Dr. Kapoor bemoans the (in his...

chemotherapyIn November - or as it is now more commonly being referred to Movember - millions of men commit to grow moustaches to raise awareness of men s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. One of the most important conversations which should be had this month and every other month is the one about appropriate screening tests which ones to get, and which NOT to get, etc.

Let s discuss thyroid cancer first. An op-ed published today in...

chemotherapyProstate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is a commonly ordered test, despite it s being a highly debated public health practice, and despite recent recommendations which continue to condemn the screening strategy. However, despite the US Preventive Services Task Force s (USPSTF) and other experts recommendations against routine screening, a considerable number of men are still undergoing PSA screening. The inordinately high screening rates may be due to the fact that men believe there is no downside to screening. Sadly, many doctors cling to this disproven concept.

Now,...

1314902_99313658Just as women under the age of 50 are excessively screened for breast cancer using mammograms, frivolous prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for men 75 or older goes against the grain, despite clinical guidelines suggesting otherwise.

Recent findings, published in JAMA, show 41 percent of about 61,000 men 75 or older routinely received PSA screening, with nearly 30 percent of the screenings ordered by their primary care physicians. In fact...