Doctor who discovered PSA test talks about Prostates

The PSA (prostate specific antigen) test has become a rite of passage for men crossing the border into middle age.  The hunt for cancer in the primary care office is, unfortunately, being pursued vigorously all over the country.  Dr. Ablin outlines his concerns in this op/ed piece:

The various “authorities” still recommend different types and frequencies for screening for prostate cancer.  Personally, I’ve been screened twice:  the first time and the last time!  That was when I turned 40 and had a DRE (digital rectal exam).  Since then the data has shown that the “educated finger” is worthless. By the time you can feel a prostate “bump” you already have trouble brewing.  Worse were all the false alarms and unnecessary biopsies that were done.  I will forgo the PSA test as I cross into my 50’s.

Tell me what you think.

Dr. Nick

Drug Maker Gave Large Payments to Doctors With Troubled Track Records

Surprising?  Not really.  Humans respond to incentives and doctors are human.  Nonetheless stories like this add fuel to my controversial title.  According to “To Err is Human,” Doctors and Hospitals kill 44,000 to 98,000 people a year.  That’s 4-8 times the number of gun deaths more than twice the number of car accidents.

Be careful out there! (in the hospital).  Make sure every single person who walks into your room washes their hands.  INCLUDING THE DOCTORS!

Dr. Nick

NY Times Story

To Err is Human

Homicides/gun deaths in the US

Motor Vehicle Deaths