Panel says ‘no’ to prostate cancer screeningPublished 4:02pm Monday, August 6, 2012
Well, no surprise here, the same type of government sponsored panel that not too long ago said that younger women don’t need mammograms has done it again. Only this time, it has panned PSA screening for men as harmful and of little use.
The report, written by the US Preventive Services Task Force, published in the May 21st issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, said “…[it] may benefit a small number of men but will result in harm to many others.” That research group was funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The government wants to dictate what screenings for cancer and other diseases will be provided to us Americans.
The panel’s ruling, based on 2008 data, led the task force to conclude that PSA testing does more harm than good. Now we’re talking about a very inexpensive blood test here, so the harm they may be talking about sounds like financial harm to their budget. That’s a similar conclusion to the one reached when the HHS came out saying that mammograms were unnecessary for younger women.
I have a personal problem with their conclusion. You see, I began getting PSA tests in my late 40s with results showing steadily increasing PSA numbers. Multiple biopsies ultimately led to the discovery of prostate cancer at age 52. Had these guidelines had been in place at that time, denying me testing, I’ve been told that the cancer would have metastasized and it’s doubtful I would have seen my 60th birthday. That level of bureaucratic control and stupidity is for me, very personal. Instead of dying, I had surgery and have been cancer-free for 16-years since.