Government panel rejects prostate cancer tests

HUNTINGTON - A government panel has released a recommendation that healthy men not get tested for prostate cancer, causing confusion among doctors on Long Island and beyond.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force says PSA blood tests can do more harm than good and do little to reduce the number of deaths from prostate cancer.

Doctors on the panel say routine screening can lead to biopsies, surgery and radiation treatments which can lead to impotence, infection and even death.

However, Dr. Chris DiBlasio, of the North Shore Medical Group and Huntington Hospital disagrees, saying that regardless of some gray areas in the screening process, a PSA test can be life-saving.

The government panel looked at five major research studies before reaching its conclusion, including one study that found two out of every five men whose prostate cancer was caught through a PSA test had tumors too slow-growing to ever be a threat.

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