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jerryking : psa   3

Prostate cancer? Relax, and don’t rush your treatment - The Globe and Mail
ANDRÉ PICARD
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2016

a landmark study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has provided some stark data on the benefits, risks and necessity of treatment for men with low- or medium-risk prostate cancer (meaning they have a Gleason score of 6-7).

Related: What's the best method of screening for prostate cancer?

The uplifting news is that, a decade after diagnosis, 99 per cent of men with early prostate cancer are still alive. The sort-of-surprising news is that mortality rates don’t really vary depending on type of treatment, or whether a man is treated at all. .....The other element of this story, which is not part of the new research, is about the effectiveness and appropriateness of testing. Another study published recently showed that digital rectal examination is a poor way of detecting prostate cancer and shouldn’t be done because it provides “maximal pain for minimal gain.”

PSA testing, for its part, is one of the most controversial issues in the cancer field. It doesn’t actually detect cancer, but elevated PSA levels trigger biopsies and often lead to a cascade of overtreatment. In Canada, routine PSA tests are not recommended.

What we really need is a test that shows if prostate cancer, once detected, will prove aggressive and deadly or not, and we don’t have that. Prostate cancer kills 4,100 Canadian men a year, but it’s not by doing more and earlier testing and more aggressive treatment that we will necessarily reduce that number. That’s a hard message to digest, and deliver.
cancers  mens'_health  André_Picard  health  PSA  prostate  overtreatment  thinking_deliberatively  reflections  contextual  timeouts  latency 
september 2016 by jerryking
globeandmail.com: Advise men on pros and cons: expert
June 19, 2007G&M column by André Picard on early detection of prostate cancer.
health  PSA  prostate  cancers  André_Picard 
january 2009 by jerryking

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