ANCHOR LEAD:WHAT SHOULD MEN ASK ABOUT REGARDING PSA TESTING? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
With the benefits of PSA screening under intense scrutiny, what questions should men consider before having testing? Ballantine Carter, a prostate cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, responds.
CARTER: I think its very fair to say that there is risk for harm, but there’s also the potential for benefit albeit it may not be huge, and then the patient has to decide whether they want to be screened. I’m a urologist so I see patients after they get screened, but I think for the primary care physician that’s a conversation that has to take place before the PSA box it checked, not afterwards. :22
Possible complications related to prostate cancer screening include unnecessary biopsies and side effects of treatment, such as bladder and bowel dysfunction as well as erectile dysfunction. Benefits of many often recommended treatments, including radiation treatment, remain areas of controversy. And finally, early detection and treatment doesn’t seem to have much impact on reducing prostate cancer deaths. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.