Oliver Sartor, MD, board professor, cancer research, Tulane University, discusses the controversies surrounding PSA screening for prostate cancer.
Sartor says PSA testing is becoming increasingly controversial. Different guidelines call for different strategies, creating a lack of consistency in the field. In the early 1990s, all patients’ PSA levels were tested but today physicians understand that there are both risks and benefits to screening.
Sartor says PSA testing has the ability to save lives but there is an overdiagnosis and overtreatment of early stage prostate cancers due to PSA testing. All cancers that are found early do not necessarily need to be treated, as some are not clinically relevant. Physicians should only treat patients whose cancer needs to be treated, Sartor says.
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