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No Longer Routine

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A US government panel says that healthy men should not receive routine prostate-specific antigen blood tests to screen for prostate cancer, reports The New York Times' Gardiner Harris. This latest recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force comes on the heels of a recent New York Times article highlighting the ongoing debate over the utility of PSA tests. The panel says routine PSA tests don't save lives and often lead to more needless tests, treatment, and pain for patients. The panel's report, officially due out on Tuesday, is based on results from five clinical trials, Harris says. "A vast majority of men with cancer of the prostate never suffer ill effects because the cancer is usually slow-growing," he adds. "Even for men who do have fast-growing cancer, the PSA test may not save them, since there is no proven benefit to earlier treatment of such invasive disease."

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