JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- There are bombshell new recommendations in the fight against prostate cancer.
The blood test used to detect the cancer has been a source of controversy for years. The government now says not only is the test not helping, it could be dangerous.
"Currently around 28,000 people die of prostate cancer per year," said Dr. Ali Kasraeian, a Jacksonville urologist who uses the test. He says it works and is helping to save lives.
"Prostate cancer deaths have decreased on the order of 44 to 49 percent depending on the study," said Dr. Kasraeian. "That's huge. No other cancer has done this."
But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
disagrees. It has recommended against the PSA test. Some doctors say the current test often prompts risky and unnecessary treatment.
"Most men who are treated for their prostate cancer would have lived just as well and just as long without that treatment," said Dr. Michael LeFevre, Vice Chairman of the US Preventive Services Task Force.
Dr. Kasraeian was in Atlanta Tuesday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting. He and many of his colleagues say over-diagnosis doesn't have to mean over-treatment. And instead of getting rid of the test, scientists need to find ways to make it better.
"We're doing a lot of research to try to find better testing than PSA but we're not there yet so right now the PSA and digital rectal exams are the best tests to have."
Dr. Kasraeian says it's important to know it's still ultimately your call. He urges folks to get educated on the pros and cons of the PSA test and talk with your doctor about whether it's the right decision for you.
He is available to answer any questions. Click here
to send Dr. Kasraeian an email.