Weighing the new prostate cancer screening recommendations
June 8, 2012
Millions of men over the age of 50 get screened for prostate cancer with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men and for years, the PSA test was routinely advised. But recently this popular test has become controversial with questions being raised about its effectiveness. In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force just released recommendations against PSA testing concluding that the test doesn’t save lives and does more harm than good. Two years ago, this same government task force of health care experts created debate when it recommended against routine mammograms for women in their 40s. This hour, we’ll discuss the new recommendations and explore the complicated issues that screening tests raise for both patients and physicians. Guest host Maiken Scott talks with two doctors with different perspectives on the PSA recommendations: LEONARD GOMELLA, the Bernard W. Godwin Professor of Prostate Cancer and chairman of the Department of Urology at Thomas Jefferson University and DANIEL MERENSTEIN, an assistant professor and Director of Research Programs in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.