Cancer. Just the word is scary. Actually, that’s the problem. Once you say that word, the average American will do anything — ANYTHING! — to just get it out of my body!!! Whether or not they have it, whatever the actual numerical chances of their ever developing it, no chance for detecting or treating it should ever be neglected. EVER! Ask any Med-mal lawyer. Better, ask any twelve average people off the street (i.e., the ones who are going to wind up on a jury). “The doctor didn’t do every possible test/procedure, and now the patient has CANCER? String him up!”
Hence we have the new guidelines for PSA testing. (Given that many patients with prostate cancer have normal PSAs and lots of patients with high PSAs don’t have prostate cancer, it doesn’t seem semantically correct to call it “prostate cancer screening”.) Surprise! Turns out that not only does PSA testing not save lives, but that urologists don’t really care. Certainly not enough to stop recommending PSAs to just about everyone they can get their hands on.
Nor do breast surgeons have any intention of modifying their recommendations, not only in light of new understandings of the limitations of mammography, but even as Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*
If you want to create an outcry of indignation, just inform people that certain screening tests are of no value and do not increase time on this earth. People love the idea that if they do all the right things and get all the medical tests at the right time, they can prevent disease ( ….uh…no, tests don’t prevent anything) or catch cancer early and cure it.
The furor over the lack of benefit for men of the screening Prostate Specific Antigen test (PSA) is still being heard. It seems everyone knows someone who was “saved” by getting a PSA and don’t try to tell me there is evidence to suggest otherwise, dammit!
There is a new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
In a highly-promoted appearance, legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden went on ABC’s Good Morning America yesterday to announce that he had kept silent since 2007 about his diagnosis with prostate cancer.
First, let me say that I’ve always liked this guy. Funny. Charming. Coached teams that were fun to watch.
But that doesn’t make you an effective communicator on prostate cancer.
If you listen very carefully to the following clip (it took me 3 times watching the clip before I caught this), you’ll hear interviewer Robin Roberts rapidly mention that Bowden “is being compensated” for his appearance by “On the Line.”
“On the Line” is sponsored by several entities including two drug companies that make prostate cancer drugs and by Project Zero – whose executive made news on this blog recently by writing that Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society “has killed more men by giving them an excuse to not be tested.”
You could probably find less conflicted sources Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*