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No Use Having a Doctor Inspect Your Tushy?

“Routine screenings may do little or nothing to prevent deaths from prostate cancer, two new studies show. In US research on 76,000 men, the widely used PSA blood test didn’t lower the risk of death. And a European trial that covered 162,000 subjects found only a modest reduction.” [Newser, WaPo]

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 18, 2009
Tagged: ,
  • 12 Comments
    • flightoftheseabird
      flightoftheseabird

      Hmm. Sounds fishy.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • flightoftheseabird
      flightoftheseabird

      Or perhaps smells bad. Oh bad pun.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      I’m sure someone will get to the bottom of it.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Z reveals
      Z reveals

      Sounds dummy!

      Mar 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merlin
      Merlin

      This has been one of the most confusing health issues for men in a long time. There is no way of knowing if one has a prostrate problem without screening the PSA number and then testing if required, as the location of the prostrate does not make testing easy. The procedure is really barbaric for our modern times. And then what does one do with the results of their tests when further care in prescribed? There are as many voices on this one as there are doctors.

      It appears the reports are not saying the testing does not work, they are saying there is little treatment options at this time, while admitting that when tested one can beat the odds or out run them for a while.

      Is it ever better to be surprised and not be tested?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RichardR
      RichardR

      Japhy, Flight, and Strumpet, were you older and had a family history of prostate cancer, you’d likely be less flippant about these testing studies. If you read the linked articles, you’ll learn that the studies are actually rather inconclusive; and that they discuss two tests, one of which doesn’t directly involve the “tushy,” but a blood screening.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @RichardR:
      Richard. I’m 48, I have experienced the procedure several times and the blood test too, and I am aware of the seriousness of prostate cancer.

      Sorry if my participation in the humour offends you. I just can’t resist a good pun. Just a weakness of mine.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merlin
      Merlin

      Tell us more RR.

      Tell us what you think of the procedures, what you would advise others to do from your experiences. There is no road map for maturing in this world gay or str8. There is no Hitch Hikers guide either, there is only us.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark M
      Mark M

      The children here don’t see this as relevant. Chances are they wont live long enough for prostate problems, anyway. But for the rest of us…. a PSA is actually very very useful. BUT.. you need a baseline #. You need a # when you are young, and healthy, to compare things to. It isn’t so much that there is a magic #, it’s a change in the #s that count. AND.. if you are on testosterone, forget it– the whole test is useless.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RichardR
      RichardR

      @strumpetwindsock: And a good pun it was!
      @Merlin: My father’s death of multiple cancers many years ago concluded a long struggle that began with prostate cancer. My prostate gland is enlarged, so I have both a psa and the er, digital, exam twice yearly. Since my urologist’s finger is hardly the only thing that’s ever been stuck up my butt, I find the procedure less uncomfortable, perhaps, than some men might (and astonishingly, ironically non-erotic. More like wildly undignified. While it’s frustrating that the studies aren’t conclusive and the tests aren’t clearly predictive, until something better comes along, I’ll continue to see Dr — twice a year. The awful test is the biopsy if the doc suspects a problem.
      @Mark M: I hope they live forever, bless ‘em, Mark M, and with healthy prostates. An early exam seems like a good idea if one is at risk, but I believe it’s where one falls in the antigen range that’s significant. I’ll ask my guy about testosterone’s impact on the psa — that’s news to me.

      Mar 19, 2009 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @RichardR:
      It’s funny, I have actually reassured doctors and nurses who seemed apologetic and overly concerned that they were embarrassing me during procedures like that.

      One time I decided to get a full slate of STD tests. I had a young not-so-experienced woman nurse, and to make matters worse the clinic had no HPV test for men. She brought out the vaginal swab kit and we both looked at this giant drumstick, pondering how we were going to jam it up my urethra. Eventually she improvised, found a smaller swab for some other purpose, and I took pity and did the swab myself.

      It is a drag that a lot of men don’t pay attention to this, but I think it’s no different for anything other medical problem. My dad was almost blind before he let us drag him to the doctor to get his diabetes diagnosed, and he was hospitalized a few years ago for congestive heart failure. That time he didn’t go to the hospital because he thought the symptoms were “only pneumonia”.

      Mar 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John D
      John D

      The media has been pretty consistent in describing the PSA test as “the prostate cancer test.” It isn’t and it never has been. There are several things that increase the level of the prostate specific antigen in the blood, including recent ejaculation.

      What the studies seem to say is that an elevated PSA is common enough that it’s a poor predictor of prostate cancer.

      There’s a test undergoing trial (still not approved in the US) which tests for PCA3 (prostate cancer antigen 3). This will actually be a prostate cancer test.

      Mar 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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