"Ablin, a research professor of immunobiology and pathology at the University of Arizona, called PSA testing a "hugely expensive public health disaster."
The test, he says, is inaccurate and misleading. Worse, it puts many man on a path toward invasive and life-changing treatments that they could easily have lived without. "We're spending $3 billion a year on a test that cannot detect cancer," he says. "
My cancer was detected via a PSA test. My DRE was negative. It was the PSA test that led to having a biopsy and subsequent surgery. So that was a public health disaster? I guess Albin figures it would have been better if I had waited to have a nice fat lump that a doctor could feel on my DRE and then have a biopsy that instead of reading a Gleason 6 would have been a 7 or more. That would have made Albin sleep better at night!
Well Albin, you can stick that opinion where the sun don't shine. Oh, wait that's the DRE test. I am confusing the two exams. Sorry.
My doctor told me the PSA test and subsequent treatment gave me a multiple year head start on treatment. Without the PSA I could have lived in ignorant bliss while my prostate continued to consume itself with cancer. My PSA test was like having a time machine. I was diagnosed in 2010 but as my doctor said, I would have been in serious trouble by 2020. Yea!, just in time to retire and go off into a corner and cry. So having the PSA now was turning back time in a sense because in 2020 I would have begged, borrowed and stolen anything I could for it to be 2010 again so that I could treat my disease while it was still organ confined.
Perhaps Albin just feels guilty because he could not come up with a test that was definitive enough. But we all know that PSA is just a smoke alarm not a confirmation of a fire. It takes further testing via the biopsy to determine what we should do. So even if we know we have a small cancer after a biopsy, can anyone tell how long we CAN wait to treat it. How long the window of curability will remain
open before it shuts on us. Sure, Albin might feel remorse that the PSA could never fulfill that question. However for me, it surely provided far more suitable options than a positive DRE in 2018 to 2020 and a biopsy around that time with Gleason 4 or 5 scores in nearly all sample cores. I sure would not be happy with that news in a non-PSA world.
In my opinion, don't discredit PSA. Use it as one of many tools to maintain health. The hard decisions are not driven solely by PSA, It is just a starting point to more questions and further testing. PSA is a great start even though it is not the be all and end all test.
Thanks for pointing out the article. It is extremely interesting reading.
Biopsy: Gleason 3+3=6, PSA 6.6 One core of 12 with 5% T1c
Surgery: July 2010 J. Hopkins
Pathology Gleason 6, Neg Mar, Neg LN, Neg Sem Vesicles
9/15/10 1st post op PSA >0.1 undetectable
3/11/11 PSA - TBD
Incontinence - very slow recovery
Aug -Sept 2010 - 4-5 pads
Oct 2010 3 pads
Nov 2010 2 pads
Dec - Feb 2011 1 pad all day - 1 pad at night
ED: slow improvements
Post Edited (MikeS24) : 3/9/2011 3:20:50 PM (GMT-7)