PROSTABLOG NZ: Not surprisingly, NZ urologists – the doctors who operate on prostate cancer patients – are more circumspect than the country’s health bureaucrats when it comes to assessing the value of PSA and digital tests.
That became obvious at this week’s hearings by the Parliamentary Health Select Committee inquiry into prostate cancer detection and treatment.
A submission by the Urological Society of Australia and NZ takes a more balanced view of testing than those allied to the Ministry of Health, who gave their evidence last month and expressed strong opposition.
The society says, in essence, that PSA tests and digital exams aren’t foolproof, but if used judiciously – that is, in conjunction with other diagnostic methods and with proper consultation with patients – they undoubtedly save lives.
Along with many overseas groups, they urge more research to find better markers, and particularly recommend the development of protocols to enhance the option of active surveillance.