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Lab testing for prostate cancer plays an important role in men's health. However, it can be difficult for individuals to know when they should get themselves tested, as there is a lot of conflicting information.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently advised all men to avoid PSA testing, a common blood test for prostate cancer. The agency said this procedure leads to overdiagnosis and treatment of benign tumors. This contributes to unnecessarily high costs and risks to the patients health.
However, experts from the Mayo Clinic say that this recommendation misses many of the nuances that should be considered when determining whether a man should receive PSA testing.
The group says that doctors and patients should consider factors like family history, age, ethnic background and other medical conditions that could influence PSA results. Rather than saying either all men should be tested or none should be tested, the group recommends that each patient decide with their doctor whether the lab test is appropriate.
"It may be a simple test but it's not a simple decision," said urologist Jeffrey Karnes. "A PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences."
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