Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (1)

Prizes For Prostates: Have A PSA Test, Get Game Tickets

We’ve seen it before. A couple of years ago, I wrote about Roswell Park’s Prostate Club for Men offering “Prizes For Prostates” — Buffalo Sabres hockey tickets or Buffalo Bills football tickets among other awards for men who showed proof that they talked to their doctor about prostate cancer.

Now a bunch of Georgia radiotherapy centers and the Morehouse School of Medicine are among those promoting the “Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition” and luring men in for PSA blood tests by offering them Atlanta Hawks basketball tickets.Hawks tix for PSA.jpg

They also promote this misleading statistic: “One in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.” No explanation is given of what lifetime risk means. And no explanation is given of how many of these “cancers” are indolent and would never have harmed a man.

The website says:

It is recommended that men with a family history of prostate cancer and African-American men be tested annually beginning by age 40 years old. All other men should begin testing by age 50.

“It is recommended” by whom? Not by the American Cancer Society. Not by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

In order to get your tickets, you must pledge:

I pledge to get a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening each year and ask my health care provider about prostate cancer. In doing so, I understand that I am doing my part to prevent prostate cancer. Yes, I commit to my family that I will not ignore this important health test any longer.

There should be another box:

Yes, I pledge to go elsewhere to get complete and balanced information on the tradeoffs involved in prostate cancer screening since I didn’t get it on this basketball-ticket-giveaway website.

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

One Response to “Prizes For Prostates: Have A PSA Test, Get Game Tickets”

  1. It’s nice to see prostate cancer awareness increasing albeit not always for the most savory reasons. It’s obviously got a long way to go compared to breast cancer but a great trend none the less.

    As long as it’s pointing men in the right direction I see no harm in it. If it’s for financial gain where the men aren’t any better off afterward then of course it’s not something I would support.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »