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PSA Screening: Weighing Harms And Benefits

Rita Rubin of The Baltimore Sun writes: “For nearly a quarter century, doctors have ordered annual PSA tests for men of a certain age to screen for prostate cancer, despite a lack of evidence that the benefits outweighed the risks – especially when tiny, slow-growing tumors were detected”.

The greatest benefit of PSA appears to be for those 55 to 69 but men in that age group should discuss the pros and cons with their doctor before deciding whether to proceed. For those who opt for screening, waiting at least two years between tests could minimize potential harms – namely false-positives and the detection of slow-growing tumors that wouldn’t have caused any symptoms – while preserving most benefits.

Read the story.