walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

a sane voice in the wilderness: stop the PSA testing madness at 75


I've complained about PSA screening in general (if you're symptomatic, that's a whole other thing). Finally, someone (US Preventive Services Task Force) has finally had the guts to say, stop with the silliness. If you _want_ to be screened, whatever; but we're not going to tell anyone over 75 they should be screened with this never-to-be-sufficiently-damned test (altho we don't blame the creator of the test, because he's said he's sorry already).

Nice quote at the end of the article:

“Taking an 80-year-old and telling him he has cancer and telling him he needs radiotherapy or surgery uses up medical resources and puts him at risk. It’s a step toward rational thinking.” Kudos to Dr. Derek Raghavan, director of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.

ETA: So, the _next_ time I run across someone who got really horrible medical care due to some form of cascade -- whether it's going to the hospital while in prelabor, or getting an epidural too early or something like PSA screening or mammography while 75+ -- who is all happy about it happening to them because in _their special bright and shiny case_, the intervention was totally justified and they were Saved! By their Heroic Medical Team, remind me to just say quietly to myself: I support Assisted Suicide. This is No Different. I support Assisted Suicide. This is No Different. The comments on this blog entry are bone-chilling. A scattering of sensible guys who know the score, a bunch of people posting their PSA and Gleason scores, and then a whole _lot_ of people looking for a conspiracy on the part of USPSTF. Yeah. Right. I don't think they have it in them. If you think there's a conspiracy somewhere, it's not there. A lot of people asking, but how can a blood test cause all these problems? Just you _wait_ until you sign up for some inadequately sensitive and/or specific blood test and find yourself agreeing to all kinds of additional crap to get a Real Answer. Which may kill you.
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