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The PSA test debate continues

Posted Mar 30 2009 3:50pm

Very interesting comments from a prostate cancer survivor and scientist with a realistic approach, maybe start searching for the cause.  A biomarker is a ways down the road so something needs to be done in the meantime to screen.  BD   

When the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies regarding the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test last week, the medical community went into an uproar. Even before those events, the PSA was widely regarded as one of medicine's more controversial tests. With the publication of these studies, which concluded that there might not be any real life-saving benefit to the PSA test, many seem keen to write off the test entirely. We should think twice before jumping to that conclusion.

The studies leave us with three options: continue using the PSA test as before, cease screening entirely, or wait 10 years for researchers to commercialize a breakthrough prostate cancer biomarker that solves the problems with PSA screening. As both a scientist and prostate cancer survivor, I am left asking myself, "What would Dr. House do?"

When faced with a high PSA, House would ask the simple question: What is the cause of his patient's elevated PSA?

Don't discard the PSA test for cancer yet

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