Aggressive, Unnecessary Treatment for Prostate Cancer! Caution!
Prostate Cancer: Beware Unnecessary Treatment!
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, second to lung cancer. Many times, however, the cancer is non-threatening--yet many men receive aggressive and unnecessary treatments. These include surgery, and radiation and hormone therapy, all of which may cause unpleasant and life-altering side-effects like impotence and incontinence.
So how could this happen?
The Problem Is... The PSA Test...
Men receive a simple blood test to detect prostate cancer. it's called a PSA, and it looks for a prostate-specific antigen in the blood that signals the disease. Four nanograms of PSA per milliter of blood is considered normal, but unfortunately men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer when their levels are below the norm.
Dr. Shao, of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, conducted a study analyzing the treatment of over 100,000+ men with prostate cancer. They found that 44% of men with normal or lower PSA levels had their prostates removed and 33% had radiation.
In another study, it was determined that about one-million men were treated for prostate tumors when the disease would not have effected them.
And there's another issue: Some scientists want to reduce the standard for the PSA test from four to 2.5 nanograms per milliter of blood with devastating consequences.
The PSA Test Should NOT be the Only Indicator... Here's Why...
Should the standard lower from four to 2.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood, the number of men considered to have abnormal PSA levels would double to six million. Dr. Shao estimates that about two million of them would get aggressive treatment, while only about two-percent would have high-grade cancer.
"These results underscore the fact that PSA level, the current biomarker, is not a sufficient basis for treatment decisions," said Shao.
The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Madam Aphrodite™ Speaks...
Men are regularly screened for PSA and if yours is close to the norm or lower, beware of unnecessary, aggressive treatments (if suggested) that can be hazardous to your health.
CAUTION: If your doctor suggests these treatments to you, and your PSA is within the normal range or lower, always get a second opinion before proceeding. And please, show this study to your doctor!
CAUTION: The information included herein is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.