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“PSA Test is Misused and Unreliable, says Discoverer”

The discoverer of the PSA test, Dr. Richard Albin, is now speaking out and he has co-authored a book entitled, “The Great Prostate Hoax (Macmillan, 2014).  A 2004 study of older men with normal PSA levels found that about 15% of them actually had prostate cancer but doctors have known for years that the PSA is an imperfect test.  There are no perfect tests and most can have either false positives or negatives.  Obesity can cause false PSA lows.  Tests must always be interpreted within the context of the patient’s complete history, thorough physical examination and additional diagnostic or laboratory studies. Previously, it was thought that PSA was an all or nothing test but data has shown that a man at any PSA level can have prostate cancer.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a 2008 report and found that screening can detect some cases of prostate cancer, but the benefits of treatment in men over 75 “are small to none” and treatment often caused “moderate-to-substantial harms,” including impotence and bladder control and bowel problems, without evidence it saved the lives of these elderly men.

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