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Has PSA testing truly been a “public health disaster”?

Anthony J Costello and Declan G Murphy
Med J Aust 2010; 193 (1): 4-5.
Published online: 5 July 2010

PSA testing may lead to overtreatment, but this should not rule out its judicious use as an early predictor of prostate cancer

Two recent articles, an opinion piece from Richard Ablin, the discoverer of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a self-proclaimed “authority in the field”, published in the New York Times,1 and a subsequent interview with Ablin published in the BMJ,2 contend to inform the public of the “hugely expensive public health disaster” of PSA testing. Yes, PSA testing is not without its flaws, but to malign it in this manner is truly lamentable.

  • Anthony J Costello1,2
  • Declan G Murphy1,3

  • 1 Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Department of Urological Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: cosurol@bigpond.net.au

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