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Government panel says men should stop getting routine prostate cancer test.
The -- the simple blood test called the PSA.
And it causes some men to have unnecessary tests and procedures.
But there are patients all over the country who say the PSA test save their lives and think the government is just try to save health care dollars by discouraging these tests.
Joining me now Fox News medical eighteen member doctor Marc Siegel.
And you had to -- head on this this past week.
Told what your take is on this on this new recommendations.
First of all I think the recommendation is wrong I think that the US preventive services task force's primary care -- such as myself.
Not experts in cancer not urologist not people that are used to dealing with prostate cancer.
Third point is that we've seen a 40% decrease in death from prostate cancer since the early 1990s when this test first became available.
It is a fairly accurate test for the prostate not always for prostate cancer so Tom if it's elevated it's up to me.
To practice the art of medicine and figure out what the reason for the elevation is not rushed to a biopsy.
If a doctor rushes to a biopsy.
It's the biopsy that's faulty or the doctor not to PSA current to the targeting the wrong thing here we need this blood tests to help us identify problems with -- let me.
Follow that through -- so another words if -- if the PSA numbers came in high and there are some false positives and in all.
Lab test I presumed so comes in high.
One when most doctors say well then let's do the digital exam.
Which guys don't like but at the same time to confirm whether or not there's an issue that should.
Always be done that may not confirm if there's a problem an -- they should always of the digital exam if the PSA is elevated you should observe a trend over time before doing anything.
You might consider giving antibiotics in case it's an infection you might consider the point you just made is the prostate enlarged is that the reason.
That the task force looked.
At studies that seem to show there was no survival advantage from the Peterson but they misinterpret of the studies and they also.
Didn't take into account that certain parts of these studies weren't well done.
A study out of Scandinavia that was done over fifteen years showed -- -- 38%.
Survival advantage and -- think it isn't only about survival.
I'm convinced the PSA will help you survive.
Longer -- not die from prostate cancer but there's also the issue of diagnosing it -- Ask a person who has had prostate cancer that has spread to their bones or.
They need hormone therapy chemical castration how they actually feel about this they're all gonna tell you I wish I had had that PSA.
I wish -- been diagnosed earlier we need to PSA for early diagnosis.
The question is what you do when you find the problem not not the tested it and.
In -- reminder for any guise of don't know the creek mere front for Holland you're the doctor but I've always been told from time I was young man there is no symptom.
That's the problem this is a silent.
Expect cancer that by the time -- you know there's something wrong it may be too -- That's what it's -- Tom that's a great point that's why we need to test we need to practice the art of medicine.
When we go one on one with the patient not -- these guidelines we go one on one we say what's your family history of prostate cancer what are you feeling what's your risk.
Then we know how to interpret a PSA result in conjunction with everything about the patient.
You know I get very nervous when a bunch of task force sitting up on high makes and -- pronouncement like this it's gonna lead to insurance not covering an essential task.
Yeah and but this -- this obviously smacks of the same panel that came out.
Well with the women don't need to get mammograms.
And there was a big uproar about that and I guess they backed off of that sense that this is this.
Simply a precursor to the fact that the government's gonna try to cut back on medical tests.
Tom I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I will tell you it's no accident that this is occurring right now it's a precursor to rationing in the sense that.
Government agencies are going to say this -- is useful this test isn't.
But we've just pointed out today we've shot holes in it they're gonna come to premature decisions about very useful test and it's gonna lead to bad medicine.
We need these tests I need every Powell arrow in my quiver.
But at the same time there's an argument for the fact that there's too many tests primarily because doctors are worried about.
-- diagnosing being sued -- all that sort of -- Great point that's one of the things we should've seen -- in the in the bill which we didn't Citi.
But you know again the problem is with the unnecessary biopsy that stunned by a defensive doctor fearing a lawsuit it's not about the -- That where the problems are it's an ongoing need cut away -- prostate a little bit and all of a sudden the man has problems.
Although talking about the problems that come from the biopsy although there are some I'm talking about the idea that a doctor says I have been elevated PSA if something goes wrong and I didn't find good night god I see I'm gonna be held accountable but -- let's change the law that.
But don't -- -- is about knowing I mean what kind of ostrich.
In the sand approach going -- -- but we expect you guys to be perfect that things don't make any mistakes.
Credit Biden's position was telling me years ago.
He said that that there's a lot of things he was telling me about a lotion I'm ruptured its prescription or not.
That they sell to get your hair to grow from -- get there had to grow and what it does is he says it.
Dried up the PSA numbers so even though may not having to do with the prostate some medicines some things can drive up that -- -- -- number.
That's absolutely true but then it's up you what you just described -- a ripple when it's up to me then to take that into account.
I need information because -- are you -- some of this stuff and if so that would give you -- that.
That's right I need to know what many other medications the patient is on I need to know whether that could falsely elevate appears say I need to follow that -- over time.
But I need the information if I don't have the number.
And I don't know something -- wrong at all and end up with advanced prostate cancer when it's too late to cure we have the technology available right now to remove the prostate in time.
That that should be done in a lot of cases when that should be done is the art of medicine.
Well this unit -- to -- and I think your point about the fact -- will insurance coverage.
Is there such a thing and so -- -- so -- Medicare is saying it will covered but I I'm very suspicious yen extra -- such a -- -- a low false positive a false negative.
Yes it yes as a matter of fact if if a patient has a testosterone deficiency.
-- -- -- can make your peers say be lower than you expect interest and it's a prostate specific antigen it's very valuable.
Doctor Marc Siegel very valuable information thank you thanks Tom.