Misfire: Bad Advice
from a Government
For nearly 20 years, in this publication and its predecessor, Prostate Cancer Update, we have given you "all the news that's fit to print" – everything we have been learning about prostate cancer, our clinical advancements and scientific discoveries. It has always been, and remains, cutting-edge information (like Bill Isaacs' exciting discovery of a major prostate cancer gene – see story). And the best thing for all of us here at the Brady Urological Institute is that the news has just gotten better over time.
PSA screening has saved tens of thousands of lives. To abandon it, in effect, is turning the clock back to the early 1990s, when 20 percent of men were diagnosed with cancer already in their bones, and one out of five men had metastases. There is potential for disaster if men stop getting PSA screening. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has rejected this recommendation. Instead, it has made the sensible decision to discourage PSA screening in men with a life expectancy of less than 10 years, but to advise men who are expected to live longer than 10 years to discuss the benefits and harms with their physician.
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