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Prostate Cancer Screening

By: Teresa Moua-Her
By: Teresa Moua-Her

A new study just released by Yale University shows that the Prostate Antigen blood test or PSA is not effective in saving lives.
The study examined a thousand men at various hospitals in New England but many doctors are saying it does work.
One local man says the PSA test saved his life despite what the study claims.
"Te actual being told that I had prostate cancer just devastated me. Both my wife and I spent a lot of long lonely hours in tears because this is just not something you expect."
That’s what Guy Palmar of Durand said. He’s an accounting manager for UP Special Delivery. He found out he had prostate cancer last May...
"I've been having yearly tests for several years and the initial test was what threw up the red flag."
Once his doctor ordered a physical exam to confirm Palmer did indeed have prostate cancer, he immediately had surgery to remove it.
When told about a Yale study saying PSA testing was not effective in improving a patient's chance of survival this was his reply:
"I'm really somewhat amazed at what you said that PSA testing doesn't have validity. I for one surely don't feel that way. I owe my life to it."
Despite what the study shows, the test is still supported by Doctors like Dr. Michael Hirsh, a Urologist at Oakleaf Surgical Hospital in Eau Claire.
"I know myself and my partners can definitely say that the use of PSA has saved many of our patients."
To accurately diagnose the cancer, Dr. Hirsh says the PSA test must also be used with rectal examinations, family history, and the overall health status of a man.
He says he's not surprised with the study, since it has always been a controversy in the medical field.
"You can have prostate cancer with a completely normal PSA. Just because you have a high PSA does not mean you have prostate cancer."
But Dr. Hirsh, still recommends men to get checked out each year.
"Statistically right now there's a little bit of controversy but for us, one life saved by early detection is worth all the PSA testing we can do."
Palmar adds, the PSA saved his life and recommends it to other men.
"If I could make one suggestion to every man listening, get a PSA test. Protect yourself."


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