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Does the PSA Test Help Men Live Longer?

A new prostate cancer study clouds the debate over whether or not you need to be screened.

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Earlier this year, a U.S. government task force kicked off a bit of controversy by telling doctors they no longer needed to routinely use PSA screening—a simple blood test that indicates the possible presence of prostate tumors—on all men, regardless of age. 

And now a new study deepens the debate: Researchers from he University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found that men who were diagnosed and treated during the time that the PSA test was reguarly used lived longer than men during the “pre-PSA” era. So what do these findings mean for you? 

While the new research might indicate that the PSA test played a part in helping men live longer, better prostate cancer treatments and more powerful medical scanners have also been responsible.

With that in mind, the American Cancer Society suggests this: Talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of the test—and whether or not you should be screened. This will help avoid unnecessary testing and treatment, which can cause some pretty undesirable side effects.

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