Significantly fewer men throughout the country are being treated for prostate cancer since fewer prostate-specific antigen screening tests are being administered. The test was controversial because false positives for cancer were common. In addition to the worry and stress this created, men were also undergoing unnecessary procedures that could be debilitating. Furthermore, many forms of prostate cancer are so slow-growing that New Jersey men, like men elsewhere, die from other causes before the cancer becomes a problem.
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force began recommending that men over the age of 75 avoid routine PSA tests. In 2011, the recommendation changed to say that the testing should not be done at all because the drawbacks and health hazards outweigh the benefits. In contrast, the American Urological Association says that men should consult their physicians and make a decision about whether or not to he tested. It also said that men aged 55 to 69 stood to benefit the most from the testing.
However, some researchers say that the numbers suggest that too few men are being screened. Furthermore, many urologists recommend waiting and watching tumors that are in early stages, but many men are not following this advice. One researcher points out that having the test and detecting early-stage, slow-growing cancer does not mean that a man necessarily has to begin treating the cancer.
While some men might be satisfied with a decision about whether or not to have a test or embark on more aggressive treatments in consultation with a doctor, others might not get the tests or treatment they feel they need because they have been misinformed or given too little information. This could result in a worsened medical condition, and if that is the case, they may want to meet with an attorney to see what legal options they may have.