Men's Health

What’s the big deal with the PSA test recommendations?


If you're a man, then you probably try to do everything you can to boost the health of your prostate. This means doing a number of different things, such as taking an herbal prostate supplement, eating right and getting regular exercise. Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force made a controversial move by coming out against something else men do to protect their prostate – getting regular blood tests to screen for prostate cancer. Recently, scientists set out to explain why this proclamation caused such an uproar.

Researchers Hal Arkes, of Ohio State University, and Wolfgang Gaismaier, from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany, found that many men who have at the PSA test, which is commonly used to check for cancer, believe that the screening saved their lives. This is why the public was infuriated by the recommendation by the Task Force, even though studies suggest that this test may lead to unnecessary and painful treatments for many men.

This led the researchers to conclude that scientific studies do not impact the public as much as personal anecdotes from people whose lives were saved when a PSA test discovered cancer early. This could be due to the fact that studies can be difficult to understand, and the general public doesn't often access academic research.

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