The US Preventative Services Task Force recommended last week that healthy men no longer receive the PSA blood test. According to the Task Force, the test has resulted in needless procedures that have left tens of thousands of men incontinent, impotent or both. "Unfortunately, the evidence now shows that the test does not save men's lives", said Dr. Virginia Moyer, chairwoman of the task force. The PSA test was routinely given to men aged 50 and over to identify cancerous cells in the prostate. These cells grow slowly and the vast majority of men with cancer cells never get prostate cancer. Many routine medical procedures, by definition, are recommended to people with little or no explanation. On the other hand, many people are ill-equiped to properly question their health care providers. We encourage our patients to question us and our recommendation to foster communication between doctor and patient; to further education and proactiveness. Any health care provider that becomes defensive or is unable to justify the reason(s) for why they have recommended a procedure(s) must examine his/her purpose for practicing medicine. There is a saying that goes, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, give a man a fish and feed him for a lifetime."
The PSA is just a single example of many tests that are routinely recommended in medical circles that have caused needless suffering. Future story posts will include the dangers of mammography, CT scans and x-rays. Natural medicine offers many preventative strategies to offset a certain degree of negative effects of various medical procedures.
Please consult our Q and A section of our Home page for additional educational materials on prostate health, preventing and treating breast and ovarian cancer.