People often feel that they should avail themselves of any medical tests out there that screen for cancer. And while so many cancer-screening tests do in fact save lives, not all are necessary or even a good idea. In fact, a recent announcement from the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that healthy men no longer need to undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests.
PSA blood tests measure the level of the protein PSA in a man’s blood. A high level of PSA could be a sign of prostate cancer. Hence, the new recommendation from this government task force comes as a shock to many, as this test used to be considered the gold standard in early prostate-cancer detection and treatment.
Yet medical experts now believe that PSA tests can often cause unnecessary pain in patients who might otherwise not even develop prostate cancer. A certain level of PSA in the blood is normal and won’t necessarily lead to the development of cancer, and even though PSA testing can help to detect small tumors, it has not been shown to have a long-term benefit in combating aggressive and fast-growing cancers. Sadly, early detection of such aggressive cancers does not appear to make treatment any more successful.
Does this mean that ignorance is bliss when it comes to prostate cancer?
Of course not. We should all do everything we can to ensure long, healthy lives, and this goes for men and their partners as well. Studies have shown in fact that it’s women who often lead the household when it comes to making healthy choices as a family; women are the ones who orchestrate doctors’ visits for the most part, so it is often a good idea to take the reins and speak up if you feel your partner is neglecting his health. But, at the same time, we have to keep in mind that medical research is constantly evolving, so it is no surprise that certain tests and techniques fall under scrutiny and beg for improvement.
By the way, keep in mind that research has found that men who engage in regular sex are less likely to suffer from prostate cancer, as ejaculation helps to release toxins from the body and promote healthy functioning. And if your mate is suffering from sexual issues, there are now lots of options. Be sure to steer him to a doctor so you can enjoy a long, happy, healthy life, inside and outside the bedroom!
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