New Guidelines on Prostate Cancer Stoke Controversy

Friday, March 05, 2010

Millions of American men are tested every year for prostate cancer, but the blood test used for screening isn’t completely reliable. Now, the American Cancer Society says there's a chance the screenings can do more harm than good. What are men at risk of prostate cancer supposed to do?

Dr. Peter Schlegel is Urologist-in-Chief at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. We also hear from Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor and blogger who usually writes about the media, but publicly shared his experiences when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last summer.

Guests:

Jeff Jarvis and Peter Schlegel

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Marine Olivesi

Comments [1]

Anthony Horan, M.D. author of The Big Scare: from Delano, CA

My book, The Big Scare: the Business of Prostate Cancer gives several quotes that state stand alone PSA blood test is without value for screening for cancer. It is actually excellent for screening for BPH.
Dr. Schlegel's emphasis on conversation before the test does not apply to 60-90% of our citizens who lack medical literacy or autonomy. 60% of my patient here do not speak English. Some only know a native American language and can neither read no write it. Up the road, at the Fresno V.A. the average medical literacy is 5th grade. This latest Am.Cancer Soc. statement is a cop out to avoid the admission of error. This proposed conversation faces too much cognitive assymetry.
Mr. Jarvis's pronouncement of a remarkable drop in mortality is wrong. It uses the 1992 spike in mortality caused by the unwise use of radical prostatectomy in those over age 75. The deaths were due to cardiovascular events and were falsely ascribed to cancer in the statistics. In 1992 the Medicare administration announced it was going to investigate radical surgery over age 75. That was enough to tell the urologists drawn to this work that the 'jig was up.' Deaths falsely ascribed to prostate cancer plumitted. Also, at this time, Medicare decided to way over pay for LHRF antagonism. This cause a sudden enthusiasm for androgen deprivation among urologists drawn to office based work and delayed many deaths because of early systemic treatment. These are not 'cure's but I am glad for them.

Mar. 15 2010 08:49 PM

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