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The Importance of PSA Testing

By admin | PSA Testing

Why PSA Screening Remains an Essential Part of Physical Exams

Last fall the United States Preventive Services Task Force concluded that healthy men should no longer be routinely tested for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood test because it often leads to treatments that needlessly diminish quality of life.

PSA is the only clinically-available study which can detect occult prostate cancers. It is imperative to find prostate cancers before they spread beyond the confines of the gland. The objection of the USPSTF was that it led to unnecessary treatment of prostate cancers that might not ever become life-threatening. Therefore prostate cancers that are not necessarily life threatening receive treatment that might significantly alter the quality of life. The objective is to find a treatment that does not impair quality of life, yet eliminates the tumor. If there was a treatment that could preserve the quality of life, but eradicate the tumor, PSA testing would remain useful.

Such a treatment does exist: HIFU or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. HIFU is a treatment that provides a cure rate that is equivalent to surgery or radiation but has a minimal impact on potency and the development of post-treatment urinary incontinence. The cure rates of patients treated with HIFU when compared to radiation and radical prostatectomy are equivalent if the degree of … Read entire post