Archive for October, 2011


Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

My annual physical was yesterday, October 25, 2011 over twelve years since I completed my Prostate cancer treatment at Loma Linda in August 1999. My PSA is 0.1, as it has been for over ten years, and I am side effects free.

The most recent Bob Tales (link here), points out the recent and I believe, significant attempt to stop PSA tests and I disagree with those efforts. If you stop and think about it, without the PSA test I would not have known I had Prostate cancer!

John Hopkins this month released an article that seems to support PSA testing and with their power it should have some influence on the folks who want to stop the tests. Two trials excerpts from John Hopkins follow:

“First, the positive trial was a landmark study carried out in seven European countries that studied 162,000 men who were randomized to PSA screening every four years versus no screening.1 With long-term follow up out to fourteen years, there was a 20% decrease in deaths from prostate cancer in the group of men assigned to screening. However, since only 85% of these patients actually underwent screening, if one includes only the men who were actually tested, the decrease in prostate cancer deaths is 27%. This reduction in death from prostate cancer is similar to the 30% reduction in mortality from breast cancer in women who undergo mammography and the 33% reduction in prostate cancer mortality that occurred in the United States between 1994 and 2003 following the introduction of PSA screening. Thus, the results from the European study support other findings and unequivocally demonstrate that PSA testing can save lives.

The second trial, which was carried out in the United States, was half the size of the European trial. It compared screening with PSA every year for six years with no screening thereafter versus no planned screening. It showed no improvement in prostate cancer mortality at 7 years. In the many sound bites on television and reports in print media proclaiming “no effect”, the words “seven years” were conveniently deleted. This is the major flaw in this study. Death from prostate cancer at seven years is meaningless.

So, it looks like John Hopkins will continue with the PSA and you can find all their comments at the John Hopkins web site.