Harlem Word: Interview with Dr. Richard Younge -- Information on Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test

Editor December 10th, 2008

Dr. Richard Younge is a family physician at the Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr., Community Health Center in Washington Heights where he treats patients of all ages and backgrounds. (http://www.nyp.org/services/acn_morgan_practice.html)

Q: What does a person need to know about PSA?

A: Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA) is kind of controversial because it's not a perfect screening test for cancer of the prostate for men.Tests should identify the people who have a problem and reassure the people who don't. One of the problems with PSA is that it probably identifies too many people who don't have a problem as being abnormal. When that happens you are committing a person to more tests and even potentially an intervention or operation that could have bad side effects.

Doctors and patients should discuss the risks and benefits of doing a PSA screening test. The benefit being that it's possible to identify prostate cancer early with a high PSA, the risk is that you may be causing somebody needless worry if it's high and it turns out to be a false alarm and you may actually be taking them down the road to additional testing or even an operation when it's not totally necessary and those tests and operations can have additional side effects.

Read more from Dr. Younge by clicking the links below:

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