First the no mammogram recommendation, and now a government panel has targeted prostate screening.
According to Yahoo! News, the advisory panel U.S. Preventive Services Task Force medical said “PSA screening results in over diagnosis of prostate cancer and unnecessary treatment that can leave men impotent and incontinent.”
PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen, is produced by the prostate and elevated levels can sometimes indicate cancer.
The PSA blood test has been a commonly used to screen for prostate cancer in men of all ages, but most often for those 50 and up.
The Task Force based recommendations on research that PSA tests may only keep one man in every 1,000 from dying of prostate cancer.
WebMD.com states, “It is important to understand that the PSA test is not perfect. Most men with elevated PSA levels have noncancerous prostate enlargement, which is a normal part of aging. Conversely, low levels of PSA in the bloodstream do not rule out the possibility of prostate cancer. However, most cases of early prostate cancer are found by a PSA blood test.”
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, “encouraged men to make their own choice about PSA screening while keeping the risks and benefits in mind,” reported Yahoo! News.
Related: Should women get a mammogram at 40?