Prostate Cancer Screenings Essentially Useless

Rex Says: Health Screenings and treatment options are a very personal, individual choice. However, if I had not taken the initiative and studied prostate cancer internationally and considere other options, I would be here 2 years post-op after major surgery that would have greatly affected my quality of life (at the early age ot 44) AND most likely be just waiting to develop cancer again, RATHER than being healthy and cancer free. My journey now is to get the information to those who may otherwise never hear it, so that they can make a TRULY informed decision.

The first article is a recap of the major long term study of over 76K men and the ineffectiveness of PSA testing. This month I used the PCA3 test to determine cancer rating.
The second link was in the national Parade magazine yesterday speaking to the same issue.

Prostate Cancer Screenings Essentially Useless
by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Regular prostate cancer screening has no effect on the risk of death from the disease, according to a large-scale, long-term study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“There was little or no scientific evidence that it saved lives,” said Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures blood levels of a protein produced by the prostate gland, has been controversial as a cancer screening test since it first became popular in the 1990s. At the time, Brawley was one of many scientists who raised concern over the usefulness of the test.

“I can say firsthand that some American screening advocates were vicious in their attacks on those who dared question prostate cancer screening,” Brawley said. Some lay and physician advocates had a religious-like fervor for screening.”

In the current study, part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, researchers looked at rates of prostate cancer and prostate cancer death among 76,693 men, half of whom were assigned to undergo PSA screening once per year. The other participants were assigned to continue with regular health care practices and not advised regarding prostate screening. The participants were then followed for seven to 10 years each.

The current results are considered preliminary and the study is still ongoing. By its conclusion, all participants will have been followed for 13 years each.

In the preliminary analysis, the overall rate of prostate cancer death among participants “was very low and did not differ significantly between the two study groups,” the researchers wrote. An independent review committee has endorsed the findings and recommended their publication.

Because most prostate cancers are slow growing, many men may die of other causes without ever experiencing symptoms from an active cancer. Neither the PSA test nor a biopsy, however, is able to determine whether a cancer is slow-growing or aggressive.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against prostate cancer screening in men above the age of 74.

Sources for this story include: www.cnn.com.

NEXT ARTICLE – PARADE MAGAZINE

http://www.parade.com/health/2009/06/breakthrough-news-in-prostate-cancer.html

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 30 Aug at 11:07 am | Permalink

    After all the testing and screening procedures for prostate cancer are done, in spite of early detection of cancer and treatment, the percent of men who die from this cancer remains the same. The positive side of these statistics indicates that screening tests and procedures pick up many more prostate cancers, and find them considerably earlier than not screening. In addition, most of the prostate cancers create symptoms that alert men of a pending problem early on.

  2. Posted 22 Sep at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    We agree with early detection motivating life style changes to restore health. Our concern is unnecessary and/or over treatment which causes more problems than the ‘cancer’ itself.

  3. Lee Smith
    Posted 22 Sep at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    It’s like there are two different worlds out there. The world of urologists studying and treating prostate cancer, and the world of public health experts looking at mass statistics. To the dedicated urologist you and I are individuals to be saved from the ravages of prostate cancer. To some undoubtedly we are sources of income. The the public health expert you and I are grains of sand who they will unfortunately sacrifice in the name of the $$ saved. Not for them, perhaps put for impersonal society at large. The urologists have lots of statistics based on well studied individuals showing that PSA, PSA velocity, gleason score, and changes over time are pretty good predictors of the aggressiveness of one’s prostate cancer. They tend to err on the side of saving individual lives. To the public health folks, they tend to err on the side of society — so what if a few more of us get knocked off, if it saves funds for their own pet illnesses. So who do you trust — if you are an individual or know and individual whose life is of great value, get yourself a good urologist. If you are prepared to sacrifice yourself for the greater good — don’t get a PSA test.

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