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[at-l] PSA


You are entitled to your own medical opinions and treatment,
and we all need to think over the pluses and minuses on PSA  treatment.
I have dead friends and family that didn't get tested, and
live family that did (and had surgery with no quality of life
problems past the first 6 months or so).
Any positive test, needs a follow up test (using the 
same type of test as the first one) to verify the PSA # again.
Depending on how high the number is, your options are different.
My uncle, & wifes grandfather got tested, had a sufficiently high  number 
& other issues that they needed surgery. Both survived quite  well,
and went on to live high quality lives. My wifes grandfather was in his  70's 
and rode his bicycle 25,000 miles in the next 7 years. My uncle is
now in his 90's, and going strong (healthier than I am) 10 years  later.
My father never got tested until it was too late, & died of prostate  cancer.
A PSA number above 4-5 starts raising questions about prostate  questions,
his number was over 2000....
What you do with the results is where the issue is...
When is surgery needed?
IS surgery needed?
What other treatment is available, what is right for each of us?
This is where the money is spent.
What treatment will make us well enough to keep hiking?
We each make our own choices here. If caught early, prostate
cancer is VERY survivable.
In a message dated 4/12/2005 12:43:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
ellen@clinic.net writes:

This is  not an either or situation. There are pluses and minuses on both 
sides of PSA  tests. Most prostate cancers are slow growing and never do any 
harm. All  prostate "cures" have side effects that decrease the quality of life,  
sometimes greatly.

The number of false positives and follow up tests  from PSA costs billions of 
dollars annually and do very little to prolong  life. Cures and attempted 
cures of prostate cancers cost additional billions,  and help make our medical 
system the most unequal and costly among the  industrialized world.

For these and other reasons I refused the test  when it first became popular. 
Later a friend of mine became ill at a  relatively young age and I watched 
him die, bloated and confined to a wheel  chair. After discussions with my 
doctor, I decided to have the tests for a few  years.

Last summer at my annual physical, I asked the doctor about what  the test 
had shown. He said, I didn't do one. I don't do them for people your  age. I 
said, "good, I agree." He asked me why. I told him what I've told you  above. He 
said, "you're right."