Prevent Prostate Cancer with a PSA Test
Dear U.S. Preventive Services Task Force...
I am really confused as to why your task force would recommend that men forgo the PSA blood test? I'm sure you seriously considered that press release before it went national, correct? I'm sure you thought it through entirely before it was announced via every news media circuit in the country! From my understanding you are advising men who rarely see the doctor to begin with, and who look for any excuse to avoid a medical visit...like the plague...to not be concerned with a PSA blood test. Is that correct?
Do you realize that most men are smiling right now? YOU just gave these men the perfect cop-out to not have a small vial of blood drawn, that could possibly save their lives. I'm wondering if you would even make this suggestion if you had a son, nephew, father or husband who were ever diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Probably not. I'm thinking you wouldn't have even considered this recommendation.
The PSA Test is a gift to yourself and your loved ones.
Men: Use Common Sense and have PSA tested
How can you tell men that the PSA blood test can do more harm than good? It's a BLOOD TEST! It's not major surgery! Where's the harm in that? A prick of the skin with a needle? What's wrong with them knowing their baseline PSA? You suggest that healthy men should NO LONGER receive them? Why? They won't become impotent or incontinent from a BLOOD test? The results of the test are what they are. The men along with their doctors should then decide on the next move.
It's simply called COMMON SENSE! My common sense tells me that I would NEVER tell a man NOT to have a preventive test performed! If any man should need a biopsy due to elevated PSA it's his decision to have it performed or not. Yes, there could be complications but there could be complications with any test we ever have! Sure there are side effects from surgery or radiation BUT consider the alternatives! There are side effects from any surgery! Radiation can cause bladder cancer, surgery can leave a man impotent or incontinent. They could also get hit by a bus while crossing the street. My point is the PSA blood test is ALL they have at this time. Until the experimental Urine test to check for prostate cancer is perfected, all the glitches are worked out and it becomes available just leave the SIMPLE blood test alone.
The Task Force should think before you risk the lives of others
This really aggravates me, in case you haven't noticed! Aren't you the same Task Force that recommended women DON'T REALLY need a mammogram? Did women listen to you? Not this woman. My tata's are for me to make decisions about when they should get checked.
I can guarantee that the majority of women are laughing at your recommendation and still receiving their annual mammograms. Some of you most likely had one...you know how they go...tata's squished in between two pieces of cold metal. Sure, there is some pain, I consider it a slight pain because it sure beats the alternative! A PSA blood test on the other hand is again a prick of the needle.
Will men continue to get the PSA test after your recommendation? I sure as heck hope so, but chances might be slimmer because of your task force. I can't help but wonder has anyone on this so called task force ever lost a loved one to cancer? Have they ever been a caregiver to someone with this disease? Have they ever dealt with cancer themselves? Have they ever fought like hell to beat the beast only to lose? Consider these questions the next time you "recommend" someone to NOT have a test. Why would you make this announcement after Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is over and we are now in Breast Cancer Awareness month? What will your task force recommend next? We no longer need to test our blood pressure because it might cause a heart attack?
You might be wondering WHY I feel so strongly about this matter. My husband has Prostate Cancer. He's been fighting it since 2008. Non-stop. His PSA has been his diagnostic tool as to which treatment was working and how to progress with treatment. He has a family history. If not for the PSA blood test he wouldn't be fighting, he'd be gone. He was only 55 when diagnosed. I've heard stories from men who discovered they had Prostate Cancer in their 30's. YES, their 30's! This is NOT an old man's disease! For my stepson's 30th birthday he gave a gift to his wife and son, he had his baseline PSA performed. Kudos to him!
YES, most men will die with prostate cancer NOT of it. YES, it's supposedly a slow growing cancer. Those are just statistics, not the norm anymore. The recommended age for the initial PSA baseline test is now age 40 and now you tell MEN not to be concerned?! Shame on you.
PSA Test: Prostate Cancer Screening Harmful to Men?
The Task Force is composed of medical professionals?
I agree the PSA test is not perfect, which is why we need something better. The mammogram isn't perfect either. The colonoscopy can even miss polyps and isn't perfect. There is no such thing as perfection, but we just don't give UP...we keep on fighting until we get close to perfection! I wouldn't stop having a colonoscopy because there are risks! I wouldn't stop having mammograms because of pain! For now this is all we have. For now we should all be thankful and leave well enough alone. I truly hope men don't pay attention to your "new" opinion because that's what it is your opinion. I truly hope medical professionals will not neglect their patients needs. Please use your task force to enhance the health of Americans not to confuse.
Your task force is composed of medical professionals. They gain the majority of their knowledge from textbooks. We are the real world. We know more then you think we do. Yes you are trained and educated in health-care. Yes we are trained and self-educated in real life situations. How many of you actually take the time to listen to your patients without having your hand on the doorknob ready to bolt to the next patient? How about taking a few minutes and really listening, it's amazing what you could learn that the textbook could never teach you. This is my story and I'm sticking to it.
In memory of my husband, Dave Ligler, who peacefully passed on July 6, 2015. Even though he religiously had his PSA tested, his cancer was aggressive and evil.
In Memory Of Dennis Kelly (1950-2012) who died from Prostate Cancer because his doctor felt the PSA test was not crucial
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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
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© 2011 Linda Bilyeu
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