So the task forces tells all the newspapers that the PSA gets a D and is a bad test. My patients read the newspapers and watch the T.V. and hear that the PSA is a bad test. They come to my office and want to know if they have prostate cancer and in the same breath tell me they saw the news and heard that the PSA is a bad test and shouldn’t be done and won’t be paid for.
Oh me oh my…what’s the doc to do?
What I don’t understand is how the epidemiologists can figure out that out of a hundred men 14 will be found to have prostate cancer and out of the 14 only one live was saved?
I had prostate cancer, I did a biopsy because of an elevated PSA and I had my prostate removed. So how does anyone know if I would have done as well doing nothing. I am not talking about all the numbers, I mean me. And what about the 25,000 men that die yearly in the U.S. where do they fit into the number game that is now PSA?
So what is the answer to the question? Doc…do I have prostate cancer. The only way to know for sure is to do a biopsy. The most common reason for a biopsy is because of an elevated PSA not an abnormal rectal exam. If you wait until there are voiding symptoms then that is too late to diagnosing prostate cancer.
What a mess. Where is it going?
Follow the money…this is all making the case not to pay for the PSA one day unless some sort of strict criteria is met and then approved by a …you guessed it…a “task force.”