True or false: The more screening the better.
While routine screening tests are often beneficial and sometimes even lifesaving, ongoing research sometimes changes the medical field's understanding of a test’s efficacy and safety. Procedures that were once thought to be cutting-edge have later been found to be useless or even worse, harmful. Let’s take a look at an example.
Historically, a blood test known as Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) was used to screen men for prostate cancer. However, as results would often be thrown off by physical or sexual activity, many men would undergo unnecessary, invasive prostate biopsies – along with related complications such as infection, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. As our understanding of PSA evolved, the medical community moved away from this protocol, and today, PSA tests are no longer recommended by the U.S Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) for screening purposes.
This highlights an important, central belief of our practice – a commitment to ongoing research and Evidence Based Medicine. We are constantly monitoring the literature and reviewing the most-recent recommendations for screenings, whether dealing with PAP smears, EKGs or cholesterol screenings.
The medical field is constantly changing – St. Claire Medical changes with it. Relying on today’s top research and seeing each patient as a unique individual, we are always working to achieve the highest level of care for you.