Just don’t bother
Guess what’s pretty much pointless, and could even be dangerous?
I know–you’re shocked, aren’t you? Or maybe you’ve been reading the e-Tips for the almost SIX YEARS we’ve been saying the very thing the mainstream is finally starting to embrace–that for most men, PSA testing isn’t going to do a lick of good.
Back in 2006, we gave the PSA test a flat-out failing grade. In 2009, we pointed out that the PSA test can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Just last fall, the story was that the PSA got a “D” from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Why? There was “moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that harms outweigh the benefits.” And in between, we never stopped pushing the information the mainstream tried so hard to ignore.
Well, it’s getting pretty darn hard for anyone to ignore the facts about PSA testing.
Reports from a full 13 years of follow-up after a large randomized trial of men aged 55 to 74 show that PSA testing offers “no obvious prostate cancer mortality benefit.”
So, yeah–pretty much pointless. But what’s worse is that it could be dangerous. Because men who subjected themselves to the PSA test actually had a slightly higher rate of prostate cancer mortality.
Researchers interpreted the study as meaning that we need to figure out which patients are most likely to benefit from PSA screening. This probably includes younger, healthy men as well as men who are at higher risk of prostate cancer, including African-American men and men with family history of prostate cancer.
Of course the focus is on preserving the test–I wouldn’t expect anything else. But at least they’re finally admitting that mass screening based on age isn’t doing anything to save men from cancer death.
In fact, as I’ve said many times before, mass PSA testing leads to overscreening, anxiety, and unnecessary treatment. Slow-growing tumors that would not have negatively affected the life of a man in, say, his 70s, end up being treated aggressively, drastically reducing that man’s quality of life.
Recommendations based on the new research report state that men should get a baseline test in their early 40s because recent studies have shown that higher levels at that age can predict a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Men with low levels in their 40s may be able to skip subsequent testing.
And if you do find yourself looking at worrying test results, remember that a high PSA level doesn’t have to be a ticket to aggressive treatment. Rather than subjecting your body to the devastating effects of harsh cancer treatments, you can keep an eye on things and feed it the supplements and foods that you know contribute to prostate health (vitamins C and K3, fish, and processed tomato products are just a few).
P.S. You might not want to talk about it, but it’s a very real problem for many men. Keep reading for a natural approach to problems urinating.
“Mass prostate cancer screening doesn’t reduce deaths: study,” Medical Xpress (medicalxpress.com)
“No Mortality Benefit Seen from PSA Screening,” MedPage Today (medpagetoday.com)