The American Urological Association has reversed its stance on PSA testing for prostate cancer, no longer recommending routine testing for men due to harmful side effects.
Men under 55 should not get routinely screened with a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, and men over 80 are not recommended to get screened at all if they have a life expectancy less than 10 to 15 years, according to the AUA. Men who are between the ages of 55 and 69 may benefit most from the test, and should discuss the risks and benefits of the test with their doctor to decide if it is right for them.
The AUA stated to be "outraged" at this same recommendation one year ago, but have reversed course based on data that shows the mortality benefits of preventing prostate cancer with a PSA test for men ages 55 to 69 amounted to one male life spared for every 1,000 men screened over a decade.
Existing studies suggest that a diagnosis may do more harm than good because the test may pick up a tumor that is growing too slowly to pose a serious health threat while biopsies, surgeries and radiation can lead to urinary incontinence, impotence or other fatal complications. Read the full story here:
This is a difficult issue, but the American Urological Association seems to have taken the controversial position that ignorance is bliss for men with tumors that are so slow growing they do not pose imminent risk.
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