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Doctors in denial over 'useless' PSA prostate cancer test
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Doctors are in denial over the PSA prostate cancer test: they still offer it to healthy men, even though it has been proven to cause more harm than good, with its false-positive results leading to needless, and dangerous, treatments

Doctors are in denial over the PSA prostate cancer test: they still offer it to healthy men, even though it has been proven to cause more harm than good, with its false-positive results leading to needless, and dangerous, treatments.
Not only do they continue to offer it, doctors in the US have been protesting to safeguard the blood test, despite the definitive findings of the US Preventive Services Task Force.
Last year, the researchers concluded that risks with the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test outweighed the benefits. They came to the conclusion after a 10-year study involving more than 250,000 men - and it caused an immediate uproar and protests from doctors.
Trying to understand the reaction, psychologists at Ohio State University think that doctors - and the public - have preferred to cling to anecdotal stories about the test's life-saving benefits, without realising the true risks, including the frequent false-positive readings, where healthy men are wrongly diagnosed with cancer.
(Source: Psychological Studies, 2012; doi: 10.1177/0956797612437428).


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