A federal panel has established new guidelines regarding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for healthy men of all ages. Dr. David Samadi, prostate cancer expert; robotic prostatectomy surgeon; and PSA screening advocate, provides his opinion on this controversial new decision.
The new guidelines state that healthy men should no longer undergo routine screening for prostate cancer. The PSA blood test is the primary form of prostate cancer screening and is used alongside the digital rectal exam (DRE) and a review of family history to determine when a biopsy for prostate cancer may be necessary.
The federal panel has claimed that the PSA blood test may do more harm than good. This is due to the fact that prostate biopsies, often done due to PSA test results, have the potential to cause impotence and incontinence in those treated.
Dr. Samadi states that this recommendation that men not be tested is irresponsible and may ultimately lead to more prostate cancer related deaths. Dr. Samadi states that it has been shown that in the last two decades PSA testing has reduced prostate cancer mortality rates by 40%.
Currently the PSA test is the only blood test available to monitor men for potential prostate cancer; a disease that affects approximately 240,000 U.S. men annually. Dr. Samadi advises that men speak to multiple doctors with regard to PSA testing to get as much information as possible.