The popular PSA test, a method for early detection of cancer is, according to its own creator, "all but useless" in detecting prostate cancer. Many men have undergone surgery to remove their prostates fearing a cancer risk and suffered through needless side effects such as incontinence and impotence, which can sometimes affect them for the rest of their lives.
Apparently the PSA test does effectively ascertain whether a cancer is life threatening vs. a dormant cancer that will not affect the patient's life. New tests will need to be developed before thousands more men go through needless surgical procedures, potentially damaging their health for life.
Thousands of men may have unnecessarily undergone an invasive operation to remove their prostate, sometimes suffering impotence and incontinence as a result, because of a screening test which was yesterday written off as all but useless.
- It will tell doctors that a man has a prostate cancer, but scientists in the US said yesterday that in many cases the man can live with the cancer and the treatment may be worse than the cure.
- "The PSA era is over," said researchers at Stanford University school of medicine in their paper in the Journal of Urology.
- The team studied prostate tissues collected over 20 years, from the time it first became standard to remove prostates in response to high PSA levels.
- Professor Stamey said he had also come to believe that the PSA test was not a useful predictor of the amount or severity of prostate cancer.
- Tumours found 20 years ago were generally so large they generated PSA levels high enough to provide a reasonably good measure of cancer severity.
- But he said that, as screening became more commonplace, many cancers were being caught earlier and were usually smaller, not generating sufficient PSA to be a good indicator of severity.
- He said prostate cancer was a disease all men got if they lived long enough so, given the excuse to carry out a biopsy, doctors were most likely going to find cancer.
- Prof Stamey said the PSA was still useful in monitoring patients after removing the prostate as an indicator of cancer that had spread to other parts of the body.
- Men without symptoms who chose to have a test in the first place were probably then more likely to opt for surgery rather than the "watchful waiting" that some experts advocate.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has published numerous courses on preparedness and survival, including financial preparedness, emergency food supplies, urban survival and tactical self-defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In 2010, Adams created TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural living video sharing site featuring thousands of user videos on foods, fitness, green living and more. He's also the CEO of a highly successful email newsletter software company that develops software used to send permission email campaigns to subscribers. Adams is currently the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and martial arts training. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org
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