Something many of us have suspected for a long time, giving more credence to the purpose of this blog all the way back to the start of my journey a few years ago. To read about more real life experiences with Prostate Biopsy and other testing, check out the comments in our popular “What to Expect” blog. Here’s a snippet from an article by the Associated Press:
“Terry Dyroff’s PSA blood test led to a prostate biopsy that didn’t find cancer but gave him a life-threatening infection.
In the emergency room several days later, “I didn’t sit, I just laid on the floor, I felt so bad,” said Dyroff, 65, a retired professor from Silver Spring, Md. “I honestly thought I might be dying.”
Donald Weaver was a healthy 74-year-old Kansas farmer until doctors went looking for prostate cancer. A PSA test led to a biopsy and surgery, then a heart attack, organ failure and a coma. His grief-stricken wife took him off life support.
“He died of unnecessary preventive medicine,” said his nephew, Dr. Jay Siwek, vice chairman of family medicine at Georgetown University. “Blood tests can kill you.”
Since Friday, when a task force of independent scientists said routine PSA testing does more harm than good, urologists who make a living treating prostate cancer have rushed to defend the test, as have patients who believe it saved their lives.
Less visible are men who have been harmed by testing, as Dyroff and Weaver were. The harm is not so much from the test itself but from everything it triggers – biopsies that usually are false alarms, and treatments that leave many men incontinent or impotent for cancers that in most cases were not a threat.“