It's never a good thing when the man who created a test announces that it is absolutely useless in effectively detecting prostate cancer. The PSA test is commonly used by physicians to determine if a patient is suffering from prostate cancer by looking at levels of PSA in the blood.

Dr. Thomas Stamey, the PSA pioneer, has conducted trials that show PSA levels can be elevated for a variety of reasons and may not require invasive surgery. Dr. Stamey is pushing for the development of new, definitive tests such as the yearly rectal scan for men over 50 to detect prostate cancer.
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• The PSA test, used to screen men for detecting prostate cancer has been declared all but useless by a pioneer in the procedure.
• Dr. Stamey and colleagues examined more than 1,300 prostate tissue samples removed by urologists at Stanford over the past 20 years.
• In the first five-year group, 43 percent had a prostate cancer relationship to PSA testing, that relationship dropped to only 2 percent in the most recent group.
• "Our study raises a very serious question of whether a man should even use the PSA test for prostate cancer screening any more," said Dr. Stamey, referring to his study published in the October issue of the Journal of Urology.
• In 1987, Dr. Stamey, the pioneer in PSA testing published his original findings in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that increased blood PSA levels could be used to indicate prostate cancer.
• However, now, Dr. Stamey believes the PSA test is not a useful predictor of prostate cancer, but only reflects a harmless increase in prostate size.
• Dr. Stamey also believes it's time to stop removing every man's prostate who has prostate cancer.
• "We originally thought we were doing the right thing, but we are now figuring out how we went wrong.
• All men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough, said Dr. Stamey, and if there is an excuse such an elevated PSA test, a biopsy will be performed, and cancer will be found.
• But the cancer found will likely be insignificant.
• Dr. stamey recommends a yearly digital rectal exam for all men over 50, as opposed to PSA testing to detect prostate cancer.
• "If a cancer is felt in the prostate during a rectal examination, it is always a significant cancer and certainly needs treatment," Dr. Stamey said.



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