We strongly recommend to all our readers a commentary in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine by Drs. Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman. It deals forcefully with distinction between “statistical proof” of the lack of value of PSA testing and the accuracy of that statistical proof as a basis for clinical decision-making.
We also recommend this article to the members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force … but they may not want to read it.
We should emphasize that this article does not change our position that annual, mass, population-based screening for prostate cancer with the PSA test is a very dangerous tool (because it may lead to more harms than benefits). On the other hand, it most certainly endorses our belief that the decision to have a PSA test (or even annual tests if appropriate) is entirely a matter for each individual man in discussion with his doctor.