Why government-recommended PSA screening for prostate cancer may be bad advice

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Despite what many people think, PSA screening has not been shown to reduce mortality or extend survival in any randomized trial to date.

PSA screening [for prostate cancer] remains a difficult decision for healthy men and their doctors [even after the latest recommendation upgrade].

The data on which the [United States Preventive Services Task Force] based its new recommendation for PSA screening is similar to the data it used for its prior recommendation in 2012…There is no proof that PSA screening extends your life, improves the years you have, or reduces your risk of dying.

PSA screening still has all the harms we hear so much about: false positives, overdiagnosis — which means treating a cancer that would otherwise not cause harm — and the side effects of diagnosis and treatment, including incontinence, impotence, and even death.

[T]he greatest misconception about the test is that we say it “saves lives” when that is uncertain. PSA testing reduces the risk of dying of prostate cancer, but there is no evidence it reduces the risk of dying.

Overdiagnosis and overtreatment are common with PSA screening — the USPSTF says it happens in 20 percent to 50 percent of men diagnosed by screening…PSA screening has real harms…For some men, the benefit and uncertainty might be worth it. But for others it may seem like so much for so little.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The new recommendations for prostate cancer screenings are a bad deal

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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