One last comment about PSA. We have people at both ends of the spectrum writing us. Some are furious that their loved one died of the treatment. Others are indignant that we don’t see what a wonderful gift the PSA test is for saving lives. I think this brief experience Dave R. wrote us is worth bringing front and center:
“Thanks for the article. I went in for a routine physical a couple of years ago (I’m a scout leader and needed one for summer camp). My doctor suggested that I should have a PSA test. I said fine. My PSA count was moderately high for my age and I was referred to a specialist. The specialist confirmed the readings and suggested a biopsy. I procrastinated the biopsy for a year and then finally went in for the procedure. It was not only uncomfortable, but painful. My doctor said that the biopsy was negative and told me that in his opinion, I will never have prostate cancer. In fact, he has never had a patient with a negative biopsy ever get prostate cancer. This should be the end of a moderate to good story, but now I am considered uninsurable unless I’m included on a big companies heath plan. Just because I had a moderately high PSA test! I wouldn’t advise anyone to get a PSA test. I’ve heard too many other horror stories.”
Thank you for sharing that, Dave, and I’m sorry it happened to you. I know several people who have been tormented for years by Dept. of Family Services for not administering the drugs that pediatricians demanded their child take. When you go in for an ear infection, that simply isn’t an outcome you expect! I worried about that, myself, since I had a child with chronic ear infections but never gave her an antibiotic (I did get tubes in her ears, however), and I needed the pediatrician to work with me, and know that AB’s were not my remedy of choice. To that end, I had to change pediatricians. (Locals, Melissa Kendall is our pediatrician, although I doubt she would know us since we never go there.)
I’m sure Dave never counted on getting a PSA resulting in his becoming “uninsurable” and being forced to work for only big companies.