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“Just say no” is the message from a new study published in the latest edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors noted that the value of the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test as a screening tool to detect prostate cancer has been in question for years (particularly for older men), but now the evidence against PSA’s benefit as a routine screening tool is overwhelming.

The problem is that elevated PSA scores, even...

A study on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests released in yesterday's Journal of the American Medical Association confirms what ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan has been saying since 1992 -- PSA tests promise more than they can deliver. For years, men have been conditioned to think that if their PSA result is below 4.0 ng/mL, they do not have to be concerned about prostate cancer. But in fact, there is no cutoff PSA value that is reliable for accurately ruling out cancer in some patients and detecting it in others.

The problems surrounding the PSA test boil down to two everyday words that take on a special meaning in a medical context: sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity refers to the ability of a test to correctly identify people who have the disease....

doctor

"Just say no" is the message from a new study published in the latest edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors noted that the value of the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test as a screening tool to detect prostate cancer has been in question for years (particularly for older men), but now the evidence against PSA's benefit as a routine screening tool is overwhelming.

The problem is that elevated PSA scores, even...

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,...

This letter appeared in the Washington Times.

Dr. Richard N. Atkins argues that early detection of prostate cancer saves lives, that all men should have an annual PSA test to detect prostate cancer, and that those of us who oppose the test do so because of concern about the costs associated with biopsies, which may be necessary following a finding of elevated PSA ("No more prostate excuses," Op-Ed, Friday).

Such arguments obscure some basic facts:

First, there is no consensus in the medical community that PSA reduces the probability of death from prostate cancer. As the National Cancer Institute notes, "using the PSA test to screen men for prostate cancer is controversial because it is not yet...

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...

Screening healthy men for prostate cancer with a PSA blood test does more harm than good, a major government health panel has decided. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), whose recommendations are usually followed by most medical groups and insurers, will next week release its draft recommendation stating that healthy men over 50 should no longer receive the test.

The task force s recommendation is based on the results of five well-controlled clinical trials suggesting that a PSA test does not significantly lower death rates in men. In addition, getting screened may lead to serious consequences as a result of unnecessary biopsies and treatments. From 1986 to...

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...

Men are no longer advised to get a PSA test, regardless of their age, according to the final recommendation on prostate cancer screening issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The recommendation, initially drafted in 2011, has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

PSA tests measure the blood concentration of prostate-specific antigen, which is often present in small quantities among men with healthy prostates; elevated levels, however, may alert doctors to the possibility of prostate cancer or other disorders. Yet recently, there has been much controversy over the accuracy and significance of the test, since 90 percent of men with PSA-detected prostate cancer...