When first introduced in the 1990s, blood tests for prostate-specific-antigens were hailed as the cheap, non-invasive screening men had needed for years. While the rate of prostate cancer rose sharply, that was expected—a more effective screening test meant more cancers were diagnosed.
However, many studies have shown the cancers detected by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests are often non-life threatening, growing slowly instead of quickly metastasizing. Combined with the serious side-effects of treatment (loss of fertility, erectile dysfunction, urinary problems) and high false positive rate, are these tests worth it?
According to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force Recommendation, no. In a 2012 ruling in the Annals of Internal Medicine, they recommended against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, giving it a “Grade D” Recommendation.
Read the full article at Forbes by Professor Steven Salzburg, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University: