US professor declares prostate cancer test useless

The only available test for &to= 21/93/375/12783_torturing.html' target=_blank>prostate cancer was last week declared "all but useless" by the Californian professor who developed it 17 years ago. The warning from Professor Thomas Stamey of Stanford University has left men wondering what they should do to protect themselves against the commonest form of male cancer. Professor Stamey's work on the PSA test - for prostate-specific antigen, a protein that can indicate prostate cancer when found in high levels in the blood - has made it a standard worldwide.

When Clive Hilton was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago, he thought it would be the end of his marriage and his dignity. "I went to see the consultant for the result and he told me I had got cancer. I asked him what I should do and he said have it out," reports the Independent.

According to London Free Press, as president of the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada for the last four years, John Blanchard says: "I had my head buried in the sand like everybody else." Although he was over 50, his doctor had not suggested it.

"Most guys don't want to talk about anything below the belt. They want to wait for symptoms. But in prostate cancer, if you are waiting for symptoms, you are waiting too long."

Research has shown men usually go to the doctor for something else, like chest pain, and the doctor tells them they may as well have their prostate checked while they're there. After all, a simple blood test to determine their prostate-specific antigen or PSA level, plus a digital rectal exam, can often detect whether there's a problem with that walnut-size gland just below the bladder.

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