The American Urological Association has recently (Nov 2009) published the Prostate Specific Antigen Best Practice Statement: 2009 Update. The utilization of these recommendations will result in the responsible use of PSA testing, and will help those patients who most likely will benefit from the use of such testing. Ablin incorrectly states in this Op-Ed that “the American Urological Association advocates universal yearly PSA testing”. In actuality the American Urological Association recommends that men ages 40 and older discuss prostate health and the advantages or disadvantages of PSA testing with their physician.
Knowledge can at times be a dangerous thing, but PSA testing could result in a biopsy (which can be done in a fairly painless manner), that could provide the patient with the information that they need to make an educated decision about the treatment of this disease. Eliminating this type of testing will once again result in many patients suffering from the morbidities that are associated with this disease when it progresses into advanced stages, filling hospital beds, and resulting in extra cost.
True PSA testing is an expensive undertaking. In the upcoming months,
we Americans are going to be forced to answer the question,“At what price health?”!