Newsweek Articles Irresponsible at Best (21JAN08)

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Cedar Chopper
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 1/16/2008 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Friends,

I was reading the medical articles in the latest Newsweek (21JAN08 Date) and saw one stated that abnormal PSA levels are wrong more than right.  ???!!!!

In another article it reported the guidelines for PSA tests are to perhaps begin at the earliest at age 50 but that even this was "controversial" with "half" the physicians reporting deeming PSA testing of questionable benefit.   ???!!! 

One article also implies that incontinence and E.D. are permanent with any treatment.  ???!!!
ARE THESE PEOPLE CRAZY?!

I'm sure these articles on medical testing have the backing of (adjectives deleted) major medical insurance company and Medicare actuaries and financiers.  It saddens me to think anyone reading this stuff might be influenced to pass up a chance to stop metestasized cancer.

My father, an actual cedar fence post chopper in the 1930s,  at this point in a discussion would comment something like,
"....Some don't have sense to pour piss out of a boot with the directions written on the heel...."

Sincerely,

CCedar
ICTHUS!
2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5  + Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.  +  Gleeson 3+3=6
Radical Prostatectomy 16FEB07 at age 54.
1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.  + Confined:)
Pad Free @ 14 weeks.  Six Month PSA <.003  :)
Nine month PSA <.008
:)
At 9 months, ED treated with Pump Exercises & 100mg Viagra Daily
Texas Hill Country FRESH Produce Department Manager
Have you had your 5 colors today?


War-eagle
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 219
   Posted 1/16/2008 5:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Amen, brother.

What are they thinking. A little research and questioning of PC patients would have given this article a completely different spin. Wait till 50 for testing? Some of us would be dead! How about starting at 40 or earlier? But think about the savings the insurance companies would have had. Who did they interview? What doctors were questioned? If any doctor agrees with this article he or she should be avoided like the plague.

I hope and pray that they will offer an article that is based in reality.

Keep it up, Cedar.

War Eagle (Walt) 


Age: 54
PSA 43 7/2005
Biopsy 12/14 Gleason 7 & 9
Divinci 9/2005 - spread to bladder
HT - 10/2005 (Eligard every 6 months)
RT - 10/2005 (38 treatments)
PSA 0.12 to 1.9 2/2007
Bone Scan and CT 4/2007 Bone mets
Casodex 4/2007
Zometa infusions 4/2007
PSA 4.8 8/2007
PSA 6.34 12/2007
Radiation (15 treatments) started on bone mets 12/2007
PSA 6.72 1/2008
 
 
"I will persist without exception - I will find a way where there is no way"


JCL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 1/16/2008 6:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Very, very irresponsible reporting. A major publication like Newsweek should know better. Misinformation like that could, and probably will, make many men put off getting tested.
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007. Age 49
Biopsy: Gleason 6. Five of twelve samples positive with <5% each. No perineural invasion seen.
Surgery: May 21, 2007
Post-op Pathology: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), negative margins, negative capsular penetration, negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes left intact, multifocal perinural invasion, 15% of prosate involving cancer in both lobes. T2c
Continence: Out of pads at five weeks. Seven months post-op I'm fully continent.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
Post Surgery PSA: Three tests, all <0.1
Family history: Great-great grandfather died from PC. My Father had his prostate removed at age 67 in 1997 and has had an undetectable PSA ever since. I was diagnosed at a much earlier age and had a more agressive cancer than my father. Go figure.


Tim G
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2248
   Posted 1/16/2008 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   

I agree that this is the kind of journalistic writing that states the facts half way and gives the impression that since PSA testing does have limits, we should ignore it or wait for somthing better to come along.

The PSA test has only been around for about 20 years--God bless the researchers who developed it--and is still undergoing refinements. It has saved countless lives by picking up prostate cancer by early detection.

I am a case in point of both the PSA controversy and early detection via PSA.  My PSA quadrupled in one year, from 0.6 to 2.6.  The digital rectal exam was negative.  My physician advised a wait of 3 months to retest.

The retest gave similar PSA results, so my primary care physician referred me to a urologist.  He said that recent studies have shown that though PSA may be within normal range, the PSA velocity as shown by my fourfold increase was cause for follow-up.

I asked him what the chances were that it was cancer.  He told me about 10% to 20%.  So,for  men with my results, only 1 or 2 out of 10 had cancer.  He recommended a biopsy, which turned out positive.

The rest is history.  I am thankful that my physician was courageous enough to buck the AMA's lack of support for PSA testing (They claim it has not been shown to reduce prostate cancer deaths, which shows their thinking is a lot of statistical smoke-and-mirrors.) 

Just as the PSA test has been a useful tool in prostate cancer diagnosis, there will be better tools developed as research into prostate cancer continues. Research is being done to develop a prostate cancer vaccine.  Our sons and grandsons may not have to deal with this scourge. 

I am hopeful that someday prostate cancer will be conquered.  In the meantime, it saddens me that reporting in the general press often distorts the real facts.  I continue to give the message to others to get tested for PSA, beginning with a baseline at age 40. Right now, it is the best screening tool we have.

 

 


Age 59 PSA 2.6 (PSA velocity--quadrupled in 1yr) 1 of 12 biopsy cores positive
Bilateral nerve-sparing open RRP 6/21/06  Gleason 5
Cancer confined to prostate, post-op PSA's non-detectable


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8122
   Posted 1/16/2008 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Great point,
And I'm in the Choir. I'm one of those who would probably have died before the first prescribed PSA test. And I do not appreciate the analogy that even though we found the cancer that all I am doing to survive it is futile. I do not believe for one minute, that someone in my shoes who found a late stage 3b cancer at 44 would do no better to have waited and then find late stage 4 cancer at 50. If the PSA test is 40% right, no 30% right, no 5% right, it was 100% right in my case. Newsweek should do articles from the patients perspective not the insurance companies. I noticed on their website an article entitled "Serial Killer on the loose?". Were they talking about this article? (oops I just got bleeped)

Tony
Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology was poor: Gleason 4+3=7, 4 positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
 
My PSA did drop out after surgery to undetectable.  It has not returned and I will continue HT until January '08.
 
My Life is supported very well by family and friends like you all.
 
Visit my journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!


StrictlyInc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 353
   Posted 1/16/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
As you can see from my stats below, I am one of those diagnosed at an early age (40) with a pretty sizable cancer. I don't know if I would have been dead by 50, but safe to say that surgery wouldn't have been an option.

Perhaps a barrage of emails from people at this site is in order, to the author of this article and perhaps the editor, criticizing what they have done...? Who knows, maybe they would re-address the matter in an upcoming issue?
____________________

Prostate cancer diagnosed: May 15, 2006 (age 40)
Gleason score: pre-surgery 3+3=6; post-surgery 3+4=7
daVinci radical prostatectomy: July 25, 2006
size of tumor: approx 1.1 inches; negative margins from surgery

- number of pads/day at 3 months after surgery: 3 to 5
- number of pads/day at 4 months after surgery: 1 to 2
- number of pads/day at 6-12 months after surgery: 0 to 1

- 1st post-surgery PSA: 0 (Nov 2006); 2nd post-surgery PSA: 0 (Feb 2007)
- 3rd post-surgery PSA: 0 (May 2007); 4th post-surgery PSA: 0 (June 2007); 5th post-surgery PSA: 0

The search for timber: took Viagra/Cialis approx. every other day, ErecAid once a day, injections. Peyronie's diagnosed 7/5/07. Now on daily Cialis, L-arginine and pentoxyfylline. Peyronies has stabilized and significantly reversed.

- PGE1 batting average: .364 (4 for 11)
- Bimix batting average: .583 (7 for 12)
- Trimix batting average: .500 (1 for 2) Grand total 12 for 25 = .480

"Lost in the valley without my horses, no one can tell me what my remorse is..."


mvesr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 1/16/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
People can say what they want to. A PSA test and my Dr. saved my life.

Mika

biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1463
   Posted 1/16/2008 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   

I just read these articles and they are one more result of the fallacy of using empirical data collected from studies and interpreting them as probabilities.  You can flip a coin 10 times and it can come up heads 10 times.  Yet the probablility of it coming up heads is still 1/2.  Given these erroneous suppositions, you can prove anything you want. 

Magazines publish articles that sell magazines.  They listen to anyone who takes any stand on any topic as long as it is controversial.  Who knows what was behind these articles.  They need to be taken with a grain of salt.  As has been stated here, the unfortunate result is that someone might not get tested in time as the result of reading this stuff...

Jim


FLHW(David E)
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 1/16/2008 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Perhaps a flurry of letters to the editor might help?
Dx'd 2/18/05
PSA 219, bone mets, lymph node involvement
Gleason Score: 7
Current (12-31-07)
PSA: 30
Lupron, Keto_Hydrocortizone, Avodart

Personal Blog:
prostatecancerat42.blogspot.com


dersh
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/17/2008 12:03 AM (GMT -7)   
i don't know what the article read but at 52 with a steady PSA of 1.4 a rectal exam revealed what my urologist said probably wasn't cancer because it felt soft and cancer is hard. well it was cancer gleason 6 with 3 out of 10 samples bad 3 close to bad and 4 OK. i tell everyone they need to get the rectal exam

Tim G
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2248
   Posted 1/17/2008 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
biker90 said...

I just read these articles and they are one more result of the fallacy of using empirical data collected from studies and interpreting them as probabilities.  You can flip a coin 10 times and it can come up heads 10 times.  Yet the probablility of it coming up heads is still 1/2.  Given these erroneous suppositions, you can prove anything you want. 

Magazines publish articles that sell magazines.  They listen to anyone who takes any stand on any topic as long as it is controversial.  Who knows what was behind these articles.  They need to be taken with a grain of salt.  As has been stated here, the unfortunate result is that someone might not get tested in time as the result of reading this stuff...

Jim

Jim--You may know the line from Mark Twain about lies: 'There are three kinds of lies--lies, darned lies and statistics.'
 And are right on the money when you say that controversy sells magazines. In some ways, U.S. News and World Report, Time, Newsweek, and other respected journals are no different than the National Enquirer  when it comes to well-informed reporting. 
'Let the reader beware'
 


Age 59 PSA 2.6 (PSA velocity--quadrupled in 1yr) 1 of 12 biopsy cores positive
Bilateral nerve-sparing open RRP 6/21/06  Gleason 5
Cancer confined to prostate, post-op PSA's non-detectable

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