NYTimes: Patients should talk with physicians about prostate cancer testing, treatments

In an editorial, the New York Times addresses the controversy surrounding the recent United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on PSA testing.

“The professional society for urologists and some cancer experts have challenged the conclusions, saying they are based on studies that have methodological flaws and that only followed participants for a decade, not enough time, they claim, for a final judgment.”

However, “as Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, noted recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the task force is ‘ideally suited to provide an objective, unbiased assessment’ because its members, unlike many of their critics, ‘have no emotional, ideological or financial conflicts of interest.'”

According to the Times, “The best advice for perplexed patients is to have a frank discussion with their doctors of the potential risks and benefits before proceeding with screening or with any treatments to remove tumors found in the screening.

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