That’s the point isn’t it - PSA testing isn’t preventative and early diagnosis leads to over-treatment.
Some of you talk about breast screening like women are getting something different to men. There is no true breast screening programme in England - what women over 50 get is a letter every 3 years reminding us that we can have a mammogram. The letter also sets out the possibility of false negatives and false positives and the latest data on the risk of overtreatment. If a woman wants to go ahead, she can phone her local breast screening department to make an appointment. About a 1/3 of breast cancers are diagnosed by ‘screening’ and the rest (including the aggressive ones) are diagnosed in women below the screening age group or with symptoms. Pretty similar to prostate cancer, when you think of it.
Cervical screening is the only true cancer screening programme in this country for women and that is because the test is reliable and the risk of overtreatment is negligible. But even that isn’t as perfect as you apparently assume. A woman with symptoms has to fight very very hard to get tested if she is younger than the threshold for screening, even if there is a family history.
Bowel cancer screening is the only direct access screening programme that I can think of - the take up rate is only 59% even though the test is actually posted through the letterbox!
If you want equity with women, campaign for GPs to be required to send leaflets out to men every so often telling them a) how important a PSA test is b) how unreliable the result might be c) how many people are estimated to be treated unnecessarily
About 63% of women actually take up the offer of a mammogram the first time they are invited - about 75% have a mammogram at some point between the ages of 50-70. Based on the stereotype of men being much less likely to go to a GP and much less proactive about their health, I wonder if the %response to a leaflet would be much higher than the current rate of PSA testing.
Edited by member 15 Sep 2018 at 13:12
| Reason: Not specified