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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stirred up a great deal of controversy this week when it issued a report recommending against a common blood test for prostate cancer. Many people think the group's recommendations are unwise. So why has the public reacted so angrily toward the recommendations?
A new report published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that many people may have heard anecdotal evidence about the benefits of PSA testing, the procedure against which the task force recommended. Additionally, many people have had tumors spotted through this blood test.
The authors said that the task force's recommendations were based on a significant amount of data, which much of the public may not have been able to evaluate. If the agency wants to turn the public against PSA testing it will have to do a better job of explaining why it is undesirable, according to the report.
Until that time many men are likely to continue undergoing blood testing for prostate cancer. This is still widely considered the primary method of detecting tumors in their early stages.
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