Health, Zoomer Report

No Prostate Screening Guideline

No Prostate Screening Guideline featured image

It’s a big change in the approach to men’s health. For years, Zoomer men have been told to get routine PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer. Now a national task force that issues guidelines for doctors says PSA testing should not be used because it can lead to more harms than benefit.

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care says measuring prostate specific antigen, or PSA, in blood is not an effective screening tool because it often produces false-positive results that lead to unnecessary treatment.

According to the task force, almost one in five men aged 55 to 69,  have at least one false-positive PSA test and about 17% end up with unnecessary biopsies.  This over-diagnosis often leads to treatments that can cause impotence, incontinence and infection.  On the other hand, they say PSA screening results in only one less death per 1,000 men.

The recommendation has caused a firestorm of criticism from other experts who say screening is the only way to diagnose the serious cases early. They believe this guideline will cause more prostate cancer deaths.  So the best advice is probably to talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of the PSA test.

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