PSA debate: "Some people are going to get killed"
(CBS News) The chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society Tuesday warned about the dangers of over-testing for prostate cancer.
"We may actually very well be killing more men than lives saved," Dr. Otis Brawley said on "CBS This Morning."
Late Monday, a top panel of health experts said than men should no longer get routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to screen for prostate cancer. The reason? The panel said the tests may lead to treatments that do more harm than good.
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"We need to tell men the potential risk. We need to tell me the potential benefits and let them make their own decision," Brawley said. "We need to not dupe men into thinking that there's always benefit with this and everyone's going to get help. Some people are going to get killed because they get the test."
(Watch below, Brawley and Phelps continue the conversation during commercial.)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death of men in the United States, killing 33,000 each year.
Former Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps, a prostate cancer survivor thinks, "There's nothing wrong with the test."
Phelps is concerned how this new recommendation could affect cancer awareness. "Now I think we're taking a step backward and you're going to see more guys putting off the awareness of check yourself out."
"I think the awareness has gone a little overboard," Brawley said. "I'm pro-awareness, but I think we need to be smart about it. I think we need to actually tell men there are risks to this test. There are scientifically known risks. The risks are better proven than the benefits right now."
Phelps disagrees. "You do a blood physical for all blood work. It doesn't matter if it's your cholesterol, doesn't matter if it's your sugar. Yea, you throw in a PSA. The physical takes 15 seconds."