Having a simple blood test to determine the presence of prostate cancer may seem like the easy option, when compared to the alternative examination. But just how effective are these blood tests and do they really help?
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is the blood test that detects the presence of prostate cancer, usually combined with a rectal examination. With no major cancer organisation endorsing PSA screening, is there really a need for it? Even the urologist from Stanford University in California who originally highlighted the PSA test, has recanted his statement.
The treatment for prostate cancer, even when detected early on, is radical and toxic, therefore, one would like to be certain that it is necessary. PSA can detect rogue cells that may never develop into cancers, or may do so only at a much older age. This why PSA should not be used in isolation.
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