Ralph, our family internist always included a PSA test as part of my annual physical beginning at about
age 55. As the years rolled by, my numbers climbed into the 3 range; then the 4 range; then the five range, and I ignored his warnings. Then the results climbed into the 6 range. In spite of the fact that I still was "sure" that I could not have prostate cancer, I reluctantly agreed to see the urologist. I was hardheaded and felt invincible. I simply could not envision cancer affecting me.
I guess I was about
as stubborn and ignorant as they come, and if it had not been for the PSA test, I would almost certainly have one day found myself with advanced prostate cancer. As it was, I had a very palpable tumor that had probably been growing for quite a few years.
Obviously, the PSA test is far from perfect. But to recommend against mass screening simply because it produces false positives and costs money is very dangerous policy, I think. It may not be a perfect marker for PCa, but it probably saved my life, and I suspect it has saved the lives of many others on this forum. Your stats indicate that only about
one in four men are being tested in their early 50's, so I guess I was one of that one-fourth. I thank God for my doctor's insistence that I have the test and for eventually convincing me to take action based on the results, even if it took nearly a decade.
Post Edited (clocknut) : 7/6/2011 5:21:54 PM (GMT-6)