In a previous post we issued a call to action for folks to protest the recent downgrade of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to a “D” status. Urology Austin shares the AUA’s strong conviction that PSA testing to detect prostate cancer can and does save lives, and we continue to recommend that men who expect to live at least 10 more years have this test done. The PSA test’s ability to detect prostate cancer in its early stage has cut the mortality rate from this cancer by up to 40 percent since the test became a regular procedure. But what will happen when doctors stop recommending it?
Urology Austin’s Dr. Michael Floyd addressed this issue head-on in an Op Ed letter. To quote Dr. Floyd: “Early detection is critical to the success of prostate cancer treatments. Ask any man whose life has been saved as a result of taking the PSA test, and he will tell you early detection made the real difference between life and death.” Dr. Floyd also points out the danger of not educating at-risk groups about the importance of testing for prostate cancer. “This newest recommendation definitely puts in harm’s way all the men who are most at risk…All men, and especially those in higher risk categories, should be able to make an informed decision about prostate cancer screening in consultation with their doctors.”
Dr. Floyd also noted that he and other physicians associated with Urology Austin, St. David’s HealthCare System, and the prostate cancer support group Us Too provided free testing to more than 1,000 men in the greater Austin area in September, which was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. We want to repeat his message: PSA testing saves lives. Remember it — and request it!