From Dr. Mercola:
By Peter Starr
Be Informed About Prostate Cancer and the PSA Test
Through my 11 years of study, and more recently, the three years it took to produce the documentary “Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery, Drugs, or Radiation,” one issue repeatedly reared itself – why are men routinely screened en-masse for their PSA score, when the data clearly indicates that it results in a huge excess of radical invasive treatments, most of which, up to 85 percent according to some studies, are unnecessary?
If you are a man aged 50 and above, then I am sure you are familiar with the PSA screening. More than that, I am sure you are aware of being bombarded with promotions encouraging you to get your PSA tested, sometimes free-of-charge.
Whole parades and motorcycle rides are organized to drive you to get tested, like it’s a simple procedure with no negative implications. Simple it is, but one thing is for sure, you are not told the entire truth about the prostate cancer “industry” and the large part played in it by you getting a regular PSA test.
Important Stats to Be Aware Of
First, let me say that the PSA test in itself is not the problem, it is what is done with that information following the test.
Let me walk you through the chronology of likely events, before giving you some statistics that you should be aware of, and which at least for me, is a cause for consideration, if not alarm, if your PSA shows a higher number than what is considered normal.
Let’s take a 60-year-old male that is convinced by his primary care physician to take the test and the number comes back as an 8 (normal for a man of that age is to be less than 4, although that in itself is an arbitrary number).
The physician will then likely send you to a urologist for a biopsy. With a 60-year-old (or older), the biopsy will likely show some cancer.
The Data Don’t Lie
According to mortality data, 46 percent of all men in the USA between the ages of 50 and 59 have prostate cancer. The rate increases significantly as men age. At this point the urologist will likely recommend immediate surgery. (After all, most urologists are surgeons.)
Seventy percent of men who choose surgery do so within 48 hours of the diagnosis – a very significant statistic since one is highly unlikely to die of prostate cancer in the immediate future, while the potential for a life of impotence and incontinence post-surgery is considerable.
So, you can see the unquestionable connection between a simple routine PSA test and the potential of a life without your prostate, but with significant and real life challenges to remember it by.
Is the PSA Era Over?
To quote Richard Ablin Ph.D., the man who discovered the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) molecule, “I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such