Change to prostate guidelines sparks controversy
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A government task force is recommending that healthy men no longer get routine tests to screen for prostate cancer.
On Friday, The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force made the recommendation that healthy men no longer receive PSA Screenings.
"I did have prostate cancer," said Don Laines. Laines, a prostate cancer survivor, is a strong believer in men getting a routine PSA test. He said, "When you are diagnosed in the early stages of prostate cancer or any cancer, the options are much greater."
The PSA test has routinely been used to detect prostate cancer. Now a government task force is calling the test, unreliable. Dr. Narayana Ambati, a urology expert, said, "We have to find a better test than PSA." He says other factors like an infection or sexual activity the night before can cause a high PSA reading.
The government task force says prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer. They say in many cases it does not cause death but the aggressive treatments are a greater danger to patients. The panel says side effects of those treatments include impotence, incontinence and in some cases even death.
Some doctors are cautious about adopting the new recommendation. They say early detection saves lives. Health officials have not decided whether to adopt the new recommendation as the new standard of men's health.
health care, health watch, mariana jacob
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