PSA testing about $$?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 6/13/2011 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Even though it may be about $$ to some hospitals and surgeons, in my opinion it still is worth it and saves lives

From Time magazine dedicated to cancer, June 13th edition

The Business of Screening
Among all the reasons overscreening is taking place, the least discussed — and most disturbing — is money. Back in the 1990s, when Brawley, now of the ACS, was an assistant director of the National Cancer Institute, he visited a large research hospital in Atlanta. There, a marketing expert explained that providing free PSA tests to 1,000 men at a local mall could lead to millions of dollars in subsequent revenue for the hospital. The income would come from biopsies, surgeries, radiation and even urinary-sphincter implants in men who experienced complications. This kind of strategy is common, according to Brawley.

Some health centers and urology practices use giveaways to entice men to get PSA tests. In recent years, men have scooped up tickets to Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Rays games in exchange for getting tested. A nonprofit national organization called Zero, for "zero prostate cancer," tries to get the word out about the benefits of PSA testing, parking a mobile testing unit outside sporting events and churches. The organization doesn't charge patients for tests but accepts donations from urologists, Big Pharma and Beckman Coulter, a PSA-test manufacturer.

Read more:,28804,2075133_2075127_2075108,00.html #ixzz1PBGjCgUk

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4093
   Posted 6/13/2011 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
well, I wouldn't call it a "strategy". I had a physical which included a PSA test to create a baseline. PSA test came back a little high so I had another and then luckily had a biopsy which revealed I had cancer.

If there is a strategy I would say it's about catching potential cancer early so we can save lives before the cancer has advanced too far.
40 years old - Diagnosed at 40
Robotic Surgery Mount Sinai with Dr. Samadi Jan, 2011
complete urinary control and good erections with and without meds
Prostate was small, 34 grams.
Final Gleason score 7 (3+4)
Less than 5% of slides involved tumor
Tumor measured 5 mm in greatest dimension and was located in the right lobe near the apex.
Tumor was confined to prostate.
The apical, basal, pseudocapsular and soft tissue resection margins were free of tumor.
Seminal vesicles were free of tumor.
Right pelvic node - benign fibroadiopse tissue. no lymph node is identified.
Left pelvic node - one small lymph node, negative for tumor (0/1)

AJCC stage: pT2 NO MX

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 6/13/2011 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
"Overscreening" isn't the problem..."overtreatment" is a large problem.

Widespread use of prostate-specific antigen screening has resulted in younger and healthier men being diagnosed with smaller-and-smaller amounts of prostate cancers, or men with insignificant (or "IDLE") tumors.   Even though nowdays it is thought to be unethical to screen men without them being aware of the pros and cons of PSA testing and treatments, we still have men (some men, not all men) rushed into aggressive treatment for PC that probably never needs treatment, often suffering profound consequences of treatment. 

Note that these comments come from someone who is "pro-surgery", "pro-radiation" and "pro-Active Surveillance"...more importantly, I am for aggressively treating the PC cases that NEED aggressive treatment, and NOT aggressively treating those who don't need it by using the well-developed protocols to separate the two.

Post Edited (Casey59) : 6/13/2011 1:52:05 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4050
   Posted 6/13/2011 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Casey on this.
I also think there is some truth to the Time assertion that some of the testing is trolling for customers.  I know a urology practice in Florida that not only provides free PSA screening but has "Free DRE" days as well.  I may be a skeptic but I don't think they are doing the DRE's only because they like to have their heads up butts or because they are totally altruistic...I know they have millions of $ in new da vinci equipment as well as new radiation equipment to pay for...think "URORAD" from a recent thread.
Tudpock (Jim)
Age 62 (64 now), G 3 + 4 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2/16 cancerous, 27cc. Brachytherapy 12/9/08. 73 Iodine-125 seeds. Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort. Everything continues to function normally as of 12/8/10. PSA: 6 mo 1.4, 1 yr. 1.0, 2 yr. .8. My docs are "delighted"! My journey:

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25355
   Posted 6/13/2011 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
OS, having had 7 negative DRE's in a row, spaced a year apart, I would agree with you on that part. The negative DRE's could have sent a false sense of security if it hadn't been for a steadily rising PSA during those 7 years.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10
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