posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 01:05 AM
reply to post by beezzer
The doctor was recommending that the tests be not performed based on the cost of such tests.
What are you talking about, "cost of such tests, ergo rationing"? The doctor never mentions the tests not be performed due to a financial cost. He
states the tests can cause physical harm, mostly from false-positives and cancer treatments in healthy men due to these false-positives.
He at no time states the test should be "rationed", and his position has no bearing whatsoever on the ACA and the right-wing myth that health care
will be "rationed"..
10. What are the benefits of screening?
The main goal of a cancer screening test is to reduce the number of deaths from the disease. The Task Force found that the reduction in prostate
cancer deaths from PSA screening is at most very small. A large U.S. study showed no benefit from screening. A large European study that found the
highest reported benefit suggests that no more than 1 man in 1,000 avoids death from prostate cancer because of screening. Other studies found no
benefit at all.
11. What are the harms of screening?
The Task Force found that PSA screening has important potential harms. The PSA screening test often suggests that prostate cancer may be present when
there is no cancer. This is called a “false-positive” result. Such results cause worry and anxiety and can result in follow-up tests and
procedures, such as biopsies, that aren't needed. Biopsies can cause harms such as fever, infection, bleeding, urinary problems, and pain. A small
number of men will be hospitalized because of these complications.
Because there is so much uncertainty about which cancers need to be treated, almost all men with prostate cancer found by the PSA test now get
treatment with surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy. Many of these men do not need treatment because their cancer would not have grown or caused
health problems even without treatment. This is called “overtreatment.”
The Task Force found that the treatment of cancers found by the PSA test has important, often lasting harms:
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence) from surgery, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy;
- Urinary incontinence (leakage of urine) from radiation therapy or surgery;
- Problems with bowel control from radiation therapy; and
- Death and serious complications from surgery.
To learn more about the known harms, see the USPSTF's
fact sheet (PDF File, 293 KB).
The Task Force states physicians should not recommend PSA screening for prostate cancer because the science shows that the very small possibility
of a benefit does not outweigh the known risk of harms.
Before recommending this test, physicians should first ensure that you understand the very small possibility of avoiding death from prostate cancer as
a result of PSA screening and the much larger risk of harm that accompanies diagnosis and unnecessary treatment. The test should be done if, and only
if, as an informed patient you choose to be screened.
How you went from the above to claiming the doctor was talking about rationing health care is beyond me. Clearly this will have no impact on that.
The whole "health care will be rationed" is a bogus argument anyhow.
Sounds to me like what this group is saying is that the test provides too many false-positives which leads to treatment for cancers that don't exist,
and don't recommend you use a PSA test to screen for it. The Mayo clinic also has a "fact sheet" up on the PSA test and state that the PSA levels
can be high with no cancer present.
While high PSA levels can be a sign of prostate cancer, a number of conditions other than prostate cancer also can cause PSA levels to rise.
These other conditions could cause what's known as a "false-positive" — meaning a result that falsely indicates you might have prostate cancer
when you don't. Conditions that could lead to an elevated PSA level in men who don't have prostate cancer include:
-Benign prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
-A prostate infection (prostatitis)
-Other less common conditions
False-positives are common. Only about 1 in 4 men who have a positive PSA test turns out to have prostate cancer
This is all beside the point, the argument isn't about the risk/reward of the PSA test, but your contention that this is about rationing health care.
This panel seems to have made this conclusion based on medical science, not any political or financial scenario.