Harvard Health Publications

PSA blood test for prostate cancer doesn’t save lives

Posted By Marc B. Garnick, M.D. On April 7, 2011

For decades, men have been encouraged to undergo routine checkups to detect prostate cancer in its earliest stage. This usually includes the test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The amount of this protein in the bloodstream climbs when a tumor begins growing in the prostate gland.

In theory, detecting a prostate tumor early should save lives. But the longest-running trial to date shows that checking PSA levels in seemingly healthy men does little to cut a man’s chances of dying of the disease.

You can read my full report on this new study at the Harvard Prostate Knowledge Web site.

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