Patient tools to assist decision-making about PSA tests for risk of prostate cancer

As previously discussed on this blog, on July 16 the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued a provisional clinical opinion or PCO on the merits of screening for prostate cancer (see prior commentary on this PCO).

ASCO has now, in addition, released two associated items specifically designed to assist individual patients to make appropriate decisions about whether they do or do not want to get PSA tests:

It seems likely that not everyone is going to agree with the content of these two documents because a lot depends on personal interpretation of the data on which these two documents are based. However, The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink believes that these will be helpful materials for those patients who want to be able to make good decisions about the value of PSA testing for themselves as individuals (as opposed to letting others make decisions for them).

4 Responses

  1. Link for patient brochure does not work.

  2. Sorry about that … It is fixed.

  3. It is absolutely essential that men be tested for PSA. If I had not been tested 15 months ago, by now I would be untreatable. My PSA was 35 when first tested, went up to 98 and is now 0.51. The PSA correlates perfectly with the reality of the tumor. MRI shows it completely gone along with the mestastasis to the lymph nodes. As it is, today I am cancer free without radiation, chemo or surgery. Today is all that counts. I will worry about tomorrow tomorrow.


  4. Dear Fred:

    While it certainly appears to have been essential for you to have been tested for risk of prostate cancer (and probably much earlier that you actually were), this does not necessarily imply that it is essential for every man. That can depend on a host of factors that are still not well understood.

    You need to appreciate that an extremely high percentage of men diagnosed with PSA levels much lower than yours were at diagnosis go on to have utterly unnecessary forms of treatment with equally unnecessary side effects and complications of those treatments (up to and including death is some cases).

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