The routine PSA Test is another of the almost totally useless procedures inflicted on men over 40. It can unnecessarily scare the crap out of a man and lead to more harm than good.
This test is performed by drawing some blood and measuring the amount of a specific protein (PSA) in that blood sample.
A high PSA test level (prostate specific antigen test level) is not an accurate indicator of prostate cancer. And, that is what the test is primarily used for. The test is really not a very accurate indicator of anything specific.
Is William nuts here? Aren't PSA levels the Holy Grail and what we should base ALL of our conclusions on??
Test levels can be high for many reasons. Even normal ejaculation can dramatically increase a test score for 48 hours after the ejaculation.
Whenever prostate health is affected, you may see an elevated PSA level. Infection, BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), enlargement of any kind, even age can also all cause a high PSA test score. So can an overly aggressive prostate massage.
Here's the real kicker:
"The prostate gland
is not the only organ that secretes the
' prostate specific antigen ' .
Which means: it is not really as specific to the prostate gland as was once believed."
The same material ("prostate specific antigen") is also found in other types of cells. This includes cells of myeloid leukemia, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and sometimes even in normal blood cells.
If you are doubting this, listen to what one of the top Medical Doctors, Dr. James Eastham (MD, FACS, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), has to say:
"Studying 1000 men, researchers found that about 1/2 of those who had a high PSA level, had normal results in the 2nd test."
He goes on to say the problem with most second tests (where the levels remained the same) is that they are usually performed too soon after the first test.
Dr. Eastham suggests waiting not a week, but about 6 weeks before the second test. This gives the body a chance to remedy whatever condition existed that may have caused the PSA levels to be abnormally high.
And, Dr. Eastham goes on to say:
"If prostate cancer does exist,
more often than not,
it is not detected with a PSA level test anyway."
Furthermore, Dr. Eastham says: "Only 1 out of 4 biopsys detected cancer that existed."
Even the National Cancer Institute and The US Preventative Services Task Force are in opposition to routine PSA testing. They believe the risks of follow-up tests (prostate biopsy)
and the treatment side effects may outweigh the possible benefits.
Why perform unnecessary costly inaccurate tests that may prompt life threatening further tests (like prostate biopsy)?
It is well known that there are many "false positive" results and "false negative" results in the history of the PSA level test.
The New England Journal of Medicine states: "(the) PSA level test has been found to miss 82 percent of tumors in men under 60, and 65 percent of cancers in older men".
This data is erroneously causing some scientists to recommend that men with even lower PSA test scores have biopsies! That is disgusting!
That, of course, would have even more men without prostate cancer enduring a risky unnecessary prostate biopsy "just to be sure". And worst of all, these biopsys put men who actually have cancer in this gland at a much higher risk of spreading their cancer cells.
A testing method far superior to the PSA Test is available. It was developed by the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC).
Dr. Garzotto (director of urologic oncology at the PVAMC, associate professor of surgery ((urology)) in the OHSU School of Medicine, and member of the OHSU Cancer Institute) who is the lead study investigator states: "Knowing a patient's age and the results of a few simple clinical tests is all the information we need to accurately predict tumor grade without performing a biopsy."
It can only be concluded that the PSA test is an outdated, inefficient, potentially extremely harmful method of diagnosing prostate cancer or any other type of prostate disorder.