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Could Your Annual Doctor’s Visit Cause More Harm than Good?

Could Your Annual Doctor’s Visit Cause More Harm than Good?

Story at-a-glance -

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has given the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA test) a "D" rating, meaning that "there is moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits"
  • The screening is no longer recommended as a routine test for men of any age, following a review of research that shows only zero to one out of every 1,000 men who are screened would actually benefit from the exam, while many others would suffer from the side effects of unnecessary treatments, ranging from impotence to death
  • USPSTF is not suggesting the PSA screening never be used, just that it shouldn’t be offered to every man at his yearly visit; the test would still be available as individual cases dictate, such as if a man is symptomatic or has a very high risk of aggressive prostate cancer

By Dr. Mercola

In a startling reversal of years of pressing healthy and symptom-free men to get routine PSA prostate tests, U.S. health officials now say these tests do more harm than good.

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