This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As a urologist in Salt Lake City, I'm concerned by the new recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against prostate-specific antigen testing. These recommendations do a disservice to men around the country, particularly those with a higher risk of prostate cancer.
PSA screening is not perfect, but it has led to a decrease in prostate cancer mortality and has saved many men in this community from prostate cancer.
Although over-diagnosis is a problem, the decision to be tested for prostate cancer is an individual decision; there is no single standard that applies to all men nor should there be. No one can dispute that the PSA test has limitations, but when interpreted appropriately, the test provides valuable information.
It would be unwise to universally dismiss the PSA test before a suitable alternative to prostate cancer screening is available. There are many men in this community who have benefited and will continue to benefit from PSA testing. In this way we can continue to battle a disease that claims the lives of almost 33,000 American men every year.
William T. Lowrance, M.D. Huntsman Cancer Institute
Salt Lake City