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U.S. task force putting men at risk for prostate cancer?



October, 2011 - -

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has concluded that most men should not routinely get a widely used blood test to check for prostate cancer because the exam does not save lives and leads to too much unnecessary anxiety, surgery and complications.

Dr. Deepak Kapoor disagrees. Kapoor chatted about why he thinks this federal task force is putting the health of men at risk.

Q. Worth the risk?

I question whether most people would rather risk dying a horrible cancer death than undergo a screening and subsequent treatment if cancer is found. The study doesn't deny that a PSA test is a reliable test for the presence of cancer cells in a man's prostate gland. And the test, which is often done with a routine blood test for diabetes and cholesterol, costs only a few dollars. So why shouldn't the test be routinely done? - Post commenter billeisin1

  • October 07, 2011 1:26 PM
A. Dr. Deepak Kapoor :

The fundamental problem with the study is that they extrapolate screening into treatment.  Screening in and of itself provides information to doctors and patients; there is virtually no risk to the screening process.  Once screened, the decision for biopsy, and ultimate treatment is between physician and patient, and needs to be customized for every circumstance.

– October 07, 2011 1:36 PM



Full Q&A Session from Washington Post Prostate Cancer.