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Healthcare decisions are as much about the future as the present, and they need to be based upon accurate and reliable information. © photo by Cissy Lacks

With a new study showing the PSA test reduces the prostate cancer death rate by 44 percent, ZERO The Project to End Prostate Cancer demands an apology for all at risk of the disease from the American Cancer Society, which has long discounted the importance of prostate cancer testing.

“It’s time to ‘Man Up’ and admit they were wrong,” said ZERO CEO Skip Lockwood. “This new study clearly shows the PSA test does save lives, even though the American Cancer Society and its chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, have long disregarded scientific data and the advice of 17,000 urologists across the U.S. that this test reduces the prostate cancer death rate.”

The new study out of Sweden, based on a 14-year review of 20,000 men between the ages 50 to 65, found that PSA testing reduced the prostate cancer death rate by 44 percent. (Lancet Oncology Medical Journal, June 30)

“With 2010 statistics predicting a 17 percent jump in prostate cancer deaths the largest in more than a decade the ACS should be encouraging men to take control of their lives and get tested,” Lockwood said. “Instead, ACS is more concerned about sexual side effects rather than saving men’s lives - though it quickly changed its tune when it said the same thing last year about women getting a mammogram.”

“Like the mammogram, we acknowledge the PSA test is not perfect - it cannot distinguish slow-growing tumors from rapidly growing ones - but until new methods for testing are developed, it’s still the best tool available for early detection and prompt treatment of prostate cancer,” Lockwood said.

While the new report says 12 men need to be diagnosed in order to prevent one cancer death, Swedish scientists say they found that the risk of over-diagnosis was not as high as previously thought, and that “the benefit of prostate cancer screening compares favorably to other cancer screening programs.”

Despite the lack of support from ACS, the value of early detection through PSA testing is supported by more than a dozen leading U.S. organizations including: the American Urological Association, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer Research Institute, Malecare Prostate Cancer Support, Men's Health Network, National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, Prostate Cancer International, Prostate Conditions Education Council, Prostate Health Education Network, The Prostate Net, Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, and Women Against Prostate Cancer.

“The only difference between the PSA test and mammograms is there aren’t millions of men who will stand up to the claims being peddled by Brawley and the American Cancer Society,” Lockwood said.

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