A suspicious conclusion
“Research casts doubt on prostate-cancer screenings [News, March 19] is a suspicious conclusion to a very serious health issue.
The conclusion assumes that the screening has only one purpose when it actually has two. PSA blood tests detect changes in the prostate function and is a simple, nonaggressive test. If the test proves an increasing change in the PSA level, further tests are recommended. This change could mean an enlarged prostate or cancer. In either case, treatment may be necessary.
Another conclusion assumes that cancer of the prostate will remain in the prostate. If you are relatively young (50-60) determining the type of cancer and its growth rate is essential. Once it leaves the prostate, it can metastasize to other body organs. This may be life-threatening.
Past family history, age, lifestyle changes and types of cancer detected determine what should be done if enlarged prostate or cancer is indicated. Only the patient and doctor can make treatment decisions, not studies nor insurance companies.
Before taking heed of these health studies, one should investigate who is sponsoring the study. In most preventive-care studies, the insurance companies are behind the funding. Their conclusion should raise suspicion. I can say as a cancer survivor the PSA test saved me from possibly more serious health issues.
— Jim Morris, Renton