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Medical News and Perspectives
November 17, 2004

Is PSA Testing Still Useful?

JAMA. 2004;292(19):2326-2327. doi:10.1001/jama.292.19.2326

In recent years, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test has become a common route to uncovering prostate cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society recommends that physicians should offer PSA testing and digital rectal examination annually beginning at age 50 years in men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy; men at high risk should begin testing at age 45 years.

But now, an expert regarded as the father of PSA testing says that it is no longer a useful tool in screening and diagnosing prostate cancer and, in fact, may be causing unwarranted treatment for a typically slow-growing tumor that kills only 226 of every 100 000 men older than 65 years.

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