First they came for the mammograms, next they came for the PAP Smears, and now they come for the men. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is a body of government appointed “independent” experts whose goal is to create the “gold standard” of preventive services available to the American public. On Monday they issued new recommendations which sharply curtail the use of the commonly used prostate cancer screening blood test called PSA (prostate specific antigen). This latest recommendation follows the task force’s previous recommendations against the routine annual use of other cancer screenings, including PAP Smears and Mammograms.
Make no mistake, their recommendations will affect the services available to you, and probably already have. Will these recommendations be followed by those who would implement them upon us? My guess is probably not — they will likely continue to receive all the annual cancer screenings that will be denied the common people.
Can we say “Obamacare?”
DURHAM — The national medical panel that set off a firestorm last year with draft recommendations advising against men of all ages using a common screening test for prostate cancer made the advice formal Monday.
The final version of the controversial U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines about the so-called PSA test – with new supporting data – was published online Monday afternoon in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
This time it faced an instant rebuttal in the same major health journal via an editorial written by a group of prominent experts, including the head of the Duke Prostate Center.
“There are a number of problems, but in my opinion the biggest mistake they made was not taking into account the suffering experienced by men with advanced prostate cancer,” said Dr. Judd Moul, co-author of the rebuttal, a Duke professor of surgery and widely published prostate researcher.
Lack of effective screening used to mean doctors often got cases that were too advanced to effectively treat, he said.
Such cases often involve cancer that has spread to the bones, which can be torturously painful, he said, and federally funded research has shown that the screening has cut the number of such cases.
“I don’t want to see us go back to the bad old days before PSA screening, because it was just terrible,” he said.
The National Cancer Center estimates that about 241,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate disease this year and 28,200 will die from it.
read the rest at The News and Observer