Episode: Questioning the Prostate Exam

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Questioning the Prostate Exam
questioning-the-prostate-examFind out the shocking reasoning behind this unnecessary screening.The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against prostate-specific antigen based screening for prostate cancer (otherwise known as the PSA test). Yet men avoid their doctors like the plague because they fear of this routine prostate exam that they are continuously told they need.

Dr. Joe Weatherly and Dr. Andrew Buelt, founders of the QuestioningMedicine.com website join The Healthy Skeptic to share some shocking statistics about prostate screenings.  

According to the American Urological Association, men ages 55 to 69 are urged to talk with their doctors about both the benefits and the harms of prostate screening. This is when the discussion should start. Not every man needs a prostate screening, explain Dr. Weatherly and Dr. Buelt. They advise that for a screening, the 60-year-old mark is the right age to start thinking about the exam.

When you consider that only one in thousands of men's lives are spared by having a prostate exam, but the complications can be life altering (i.e. sexual dysfunction, infection, urinary incontinence) then men should take seriously into consideration about getting this done annually.  

In addition, out of the 1000 men screened, 220 will have a positive result, 110 will have to endure further work-up and 50 develop complications. The bottom line is talk to your doctor; but if you do NOT have a history of prostate cancer in your family, the screening process for this deadly disease can wait until you are well into your 60s.
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