|We now know that a very questionable medical test was marketed as a cancer detection test. Surely urologists who administer and interpret the PSA test results would see that it was terribly inaccurate and would lead to over treating men who never had prostate cancer…. Wouldn’t they?|
Despite your opposition of using the PSA as a prostate cancer-detecting test, did it ever become apparent to other researchers or clinicians (urologists) that this test is ineffective in detecting prostate cancer?
Dr. Richard Ablin:
All of the early researchers responsible for developing and marketing the PSA test knew that PSA is not cancer-specific. The explosion of PSA screening was driven by two main factors: money and fear. The pharmaceutical industry and the urology community used fear of prostate cancer to exploit a 30-million-men yearly PSA screening market. The mantra early detection leads to cure was cleverly used in well-organized screening campaigns. It’s important to note that there were many “innocent” doctors who were just blindly following the early-detection-leads-to-cure trend. If anything, they were guilty of ignorance. But more important, for nearly 8 years before the FDA’s fateful decision to approve PSA screening, the PSA test was used illegally to screen millions of men. The FDA knew this, and turned a blind eye to the unfolding public health care disaster that left millions of men crippled for life.
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- Prostate Cancer and the PSA Test