PSA tests

  1. PSA tests are not for everyone

    The prostate cancer advice you need to ignore

    Never, ever get your health advice from celebrities, my friend.

    Just last month, the actor Ben Stiller was on The Today Show after being treated for prostate cancer -- and he was urging EVERY MAN to rush out and get a PSA test.

    "If it was up to me every guy should get tested after the age of 40 or 45," he pleaded.

    I couldn't think of worse advice if I tried... even worse than urging every man to watch Zoolander 2!

    I hope his health advice will be a flop -- because Stiller's position on prostate cancer is downright dangerous, and mainstream medicine is starting to admit it.

    The very same day he made that declaration, a major medical organization pretty much dished out the exact opposite advice.

    They didn't come right out and say that no man needs the PSA.

    But the Clinical Trials Update published by the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed the results of a study I shared with you back in September.

    That one found the prostate cancer death rate is as close to zero as it can be without actually being zero.

    Over 10 years, just 1 percent of men with the disease die of it!

    Even more amazingly, it doesn't seem to matter much which treatment you choose or even if you choose no treatment at all.

    Across the board, the death rate's the same -- just 1 percent -- in BOTH men who were treated and men who were not.

    I can't speak to Ben Stiller's case, since I don't know his history or how aggressive his cancer was.

    But I do know this: Urging "every guy" to get tested has already been tried, and it led to a public health disaster.

    The prostate cancer treatment rate skyrocketed, but the death rate barely budged -- meaning most of those men were "cured" of cancers that never would've hurt them.

    So, treatment didn't SAVE their lives -- but it RUINED plenty of them, since many men are forced to live with incontinence and impotence afterward.

    Men who are treated with radiotherapy even face a higher risk of bladder cancer, which is ironically often deadlier than the prostate cancer they were trying to treat.

    I won't say no man should ever have a PSA test. But it's a very personal decision based on your history and risk factors -- and even then, a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to mean treatment.

    You can choose active surveillance, where doctors watch the tumor and treat it only if it becomes more aggressive.

    In most cases, that won't happen, especially if you boost your intake of nutrients proven to slow the cancer.

  2. The one cancer screening that works

    Over screening for cancer is nothing short of a national disaster.

    PSA tests and mammograms have created a generation of men and women battling the lifelong side effects of devastating treatments they didn't need because the cancers never would have hurt them in the first place.

    But there's one screening that's different -- a screening that can detect a deadly cancer and remove it at the same time.

    And if you're like most people, it's the very one you've been avoiding: the colonoscopy.

    Now, a landmark new study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows why you shouldn't be avoiding yours. In fact, these findings may have you calling your doctor today to schedule it -- because data on 2,602 patients tracked for 15 years finds that colonoscopies can slash your risk of dying of colon cancer by 53 percent.

    But despite the fact that colonoscopies save lives, only half of the people who should get scoped actually do.

    It's not hard to see why. A colonoscopy sounds about as pleasant as...well...a colonoscopy.

    In reality, it's not nearly as bad as you'd think.

    Thanks to the anesthesia, you won't feel a thing during the procedure itself. The worst part is actually the night before, when you'll have to take a preparation that'll empty your bowels.

    All I can say is, get a good book and stay close to a toilet.

    To make it easier on you, schedule your colonoscopy for first thing in the morning. Since you can't eat until the procedure is done, you won't spend the day hungry -- and you won't spend the day stressing over it, either.

    But that's not the only reason you want to be the early bird on this one: Several studies have shown that doctors detect more polyps early in the day than they do in the afternoon.

    Finally, some doctors offer a less-thorough version of the colonoscopy called the sigmoidoscopy. Others will try to get you to pay extra for a "virtual" colonoscopy.

    Both of them may be tempting. They both might sound a little more comfortable and a little less invasive.

    Don't fall for it. When it comes to colon screenings, nothing beats the real thing: A genuine colonoscopy by a competent doctor.

    If you're past 50 and haven't had one or are overdue for your next one, no more excuses. Pick up the phone and schedule yours today.

  3. PSA tests don't save lives

    The best way to protect your prostate is to keep it far away from doctors who want to screen it -- and even further from the surgeons who make a living off prostate cancer procedures.
  4. The tests seniors should skip

    Even as the mainstream moves away from routine cancer screenings for men and women alike, there's one group of Americans that are still getting screened regularly for cancers that almost certainly won't hurt them. And that's the elderly.
  5. How to survive prostate cancer

    Two new studies show yet again how prostate cancer is badly overtreated, exposing millions of men to expensive, life- ruining surgeries and deadly radiation for absolutely no reason.
  6. The beginning of the end for the PSA?

    The march of common sense, amazingly, continues as the American Cancer Society takes a big step away from PSA tests.

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