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PSA testing
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otter051069 posted:
O.K., so today on the morning news, I hear that a "government panel" has determined that PSA testing may not be beneficial because of not really prolonging the lives of us guys with cancer. I fortunately do not have prostate cancer and I sympathize you fellas that do. Anyway, just wondered the opinion of you guys that have gone through this. I have quizzed my Doc on this subject and his comment was he finds more bumps doing the DRE and PSA testing guys for this than I think the "government panel" thinks.

Oh, and by the way, this is the same "government panel" that suggested that women need not have a mammogram each year. Guys.....help me with this, I have been confused with this talk for forever.

My best to all of you that are suffering with this dreaded disease, you are troopers!!
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BillH99 responded:
I noticed a number of things about this.

First it is a draft, who knows the wording of the final version.

And while I don't know the best number I would not disagree with discontinuing the test for "elderly" (70 is mentioned in the article). One that reaches that age, without know problems, is much less likely to die from PC.

But I see one big thing that is not mentioned in the article. They talk about the low death rates. But they don't mention what percentage of cases metastasizes to the bones where it becomes a very painful and debilitating disease.
 
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BillH99 replied to BillH99's response:
The actual recommendation has been posted here.

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/prostate/draftrecprostate.htm

I have not had time to read it.
 
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RandomPseudoNym replied to BillH99's response:
Thanks for the link, Bill.

Well, on a quick read - they are only looking out 10 years for mortality (not even, "are you in agonizing pain and looking forward to a terrible death that hasn't arrived yet" - just "did you die of prostate cancer within 10 years of testing".) I'm looking 30-40 years out, so I see things a little differently than they do.

There was one trial (perhaps even the SPCG-4 they reference) that looked at untreated men over a long period, and up through the first 15 years it was being ballyhooed as the definitive proof that treatment was just silliness. At 20 years, the untreated were dropping like flies, but some folks still quote the 5, 10 and 15 years versions of it as "proof" that treatment is bad. And, if you have no real expectation of making it another 20 years, that might be true, or at least worth serious consideration.

Also, they pay no attention whatever to the fact that if you wait for symptoms, the odds of both negative side effects of treatment and metastasis are much higher. ie, the very side effects of treatment they consider as a reason not to have early detection and treatment are far more likely if treatment is delayed until symptoms have occurred.

As is usual, if you have an agenda, you can pick the numbers so they seem to support your argument. And that seems to be the case here...


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