Friday, March 12, 2010

Medical Advancements, Misused and Harmful to Us

Reading this article on The Great Prostate Mistake makes me wonder how many other medical advancements will be misused and/or promoted improperly, leading to more harm than good.

"Americans spend an enormous amount testing for prostate cancer. The annual bill for P.S.A. screening is at least $3 billion, with much of it paid for by Medicare and the Veterans Administration.

Prostate cancer may get a lot of press, but consider the numbers: American men have a 16 percent lifetime chance of receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, but only a 3 percent chance of dying from it. That’s because the majority of prostate cancers grow slowly. In other words, men lucky enough to reach old age are much more likely to die with prostate cancer than to die of it.

Even then, the test is hardly more effective than a coin toss...."

- Richard J. Ablin, the man who discovered the PSA in 1970, making possible the test which has been misused considerably.