Doctors Disagree On New Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
One doctor suggests the problem is the rush to treatment, not the screening; another suggests that a failure to screen men could be more costly in the long run.
Los Angeles Times: PSA Test: The Real Problem Is The Rush To Treatment, Doctor Says
The test finds many cancers that are not life-threatening, and treatment causes side effects from surgery and radiation such as impotence and urinary incontinence. The harms weighed against benefit aren't enough to justify the screen, the task force concluded. But some doctors say the answer is to change the way that prostate cancer is handled in this country. When a biopsy reveals cancer, 90 percent of men are treated -- even though most prostate cancers won't threaten a man's life (Mestel, 5/23).
Medscape Today: Avoiding Prostate Cancer Screening Might Be Costly
This week, the USPSTF gave prostate cancer screening a grade of D (not recommended; harm outweighs benefits or no net benefit). However, the analysis by Dr. [E. David] Crawford and colleagues suggests that avoiding prostate cancer screening might ultimately cost more in terms of treating advanced disease and missing significant numbers of cases (Hitt, 5/23).