Through my eleven years of study and more recently the 3 years it took to produce the documentary “Surviving Prostate Cancer without Surgery, Drugs or Radiation”, one issue repeatedly reared itself — why are men routinely screened en-masse for their PSA score, when the data clearly indicates that it results in a huge excess of radical invasive treatments, most of which, up to 85% according to some studies, are unnecessary.
If you are a man aged 50+ then I am sure you are familiar with the PSA screening, more than that, I am sure you are aware of being bombarded with promotions encouraging you to get your PSA tested, sometimes free-of-charge. Whole parades and motorcycle rides are organized to drive you to get tested, like it’s a simple procedure with no negative implications. Simple it is, but one thing is for sure, you are not told the entire truth about the prostate cancer “industry” and the large part played in it by you getting a regular PSA test.
First, let me say that the PSA test in itself is not the problem, it is what is done with that information following the test. Let me walk you through the chronology of likely events before giving you some statistics that you should be aware of, and which at least for me, is a cause for consideration if not alarm if your PSA shows a higher than normal number.
Let’s take a 60 year old male that is convinced by his primary care physician to take the test and the number comes back as an eight (normal for a man of that age is considered to be 4, although that is an arbitrary number). The PC physician then will send you to a urologist for a biopsy. With a 60 year old (or older) the biopsy will likely show some cancer. According to mortality data, 46% of all men in the USA between the ages of 50 and 59 have prostate cancer. The rate increases significantly as men age.
Finding some cancer, the urologist will likely recommend immediate surgery, after all, most urologists are surgeons. 70% of men who choose surgery do so within 48 hours of the diagnosis — a very significant statistic since one is highly unlikely to die of prostate cancer in the immediate future and the potential for a life of impotence and incontinence is considerable.
So you can see the unquestionable connection between a simple routine PSA test and the potential of a life without your prostate but with significant and real life challenges to remember it by.
To quote Richard Ablin Ph.D, the man who discovered the Prostate Specific Antigen molecule(PSA), “I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster,” and Dr. Thomas Stamey M.D. an early proponent of PSA screening (published in the Journal of Urology back in 2004), “The PSA era is over in the USA. Our study raises a very serious question of whether a man should even use the PSA test for prostate cancer screening anymore.”
If you have a PSA test and find the number elevated, think before you take the next step. Retest, have your doctor conduct a PCA3 and a 4K score (there re other exams such as a 3D color Doppler Ultrasound) before jumping into the “sheep dip” of treatment protocols that the majority of men who are left impotent and incontinent, live to regret.
PSA test is not a measure of cancer, it is not prostate cancer specific. It is a measure of inflammation that can be caused by many things including bacterial or viral infection, calcification or quite simply as a result of sexual activity or riding a bicycle.
Take the time to read and learn what you are getting into, that way you can, to some degree, be responsible for the outcome. Read Dr. Richard Ablin’s book “The Great Prostate Hoax” or visit www.survivingprostatecancer.org to watch the trailer for my documentary.
— © 2015 Peter Starr is Founder and Director of the Healing Arts Education Foundation in Los Angeles. ©2015 Healing Arts Education Foundation. Visit www.survivingprostatecancer.org