World Cancer Day and the PSA ‘test’ for Prostate Cancer
Around the World countless kind people are raising money for and giving thought to those with cancer, especially today on World Cancer Day. The ‘War on Cancer’ was a term coined by US president, Richard Nixon, in 1971. We’re now several hundred billion dollars in and several decades on, but haven’t progressed much in terms of reduced deaths from cancer – that being the key statistic. If tests are not accurate then ‘length of life lived’ after a ‘diagnosis’ becomes, in reality, irrelevant. The 17 year Danish breast study highlights significant overtreatment due to ‘false positive’ inaccuracies in identifying non malignant ‘tumours’. It may be no better for men, with the lack of accuracy of the PSA Test (Prostate Specific Antigen) which was never intended as a definitive ‘cancer test’ in the first place, despite its’ FDA approval. Dr Richard J Ablin, who others claimed had invented a ‘prostate cancer test’ went so far as to highlight such mis-representation that he authored his seminal book: The Great Prostate Hoax. Dr Ablin, interviewed by Dr Eric Topol (refer Medscape.com), states that ‘his’ standard PSA test is 78% inaccurate’. So, only one in five men may get an accurate ‘diagnosis’. Being of an age that a Doctor, if ever he sees me, might enquire if I would like a PSA test, I may just tell him where to stick it. Or, perhaps with so many ‘false positives’, I actually won’t – if I like him.