Stop! This routine test can cause more harm than good

The next time the man in your life fronts up to the doctor, he can rest assured that there won’t

The next time the man in your life fronts up to the doctor, he can rest assured that there won’t be any uncomfortable poking and prodding in places where the sun don’t shine.

The new guidelines for prostate cancer testing, released today, have done away with the rectal exam, with more of a focus on a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test to be offered for patients most at risk.

PSA Testing and Early Management of Test-detected Prostate Cancer: Guidelines for health professionals was launched on Wednesday after being approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Strikingly, the guidelines do not recommend a national, regular screening program because too many men are being tested (and then treated) unnecessarily.

But the biggest news is that doctors are now required under the guidelines to tell their patients that the harms of testing for prostate cancer may outweigh the benefits, The Australian reports.

Up to 40 per cent of prostate cancers picked up in men who are too young, too old, or only have a short life-expectancy would never have caused a problem the report finds, however treating these benign cancers frequently causes traumatic side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and bowel problems.

“We know that early diagnosis is key to saving lives for men with aggressive prostate cancer,” said Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand president Professor Mark Frydenberg.

“However, we also know that in some men prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease that may never be life threatening.”

The guidelines now advise that men who are at average risk of the disease be offered regular PSA testing every two years from the age of 50 to 69, starting earlier if there is a family history.

Doctors are advised that men, particularly those over 70, should be fully informed about the pros and cons of testing.

Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer for men after skin cancer, and causes the second highest number of deaths in men after lung cancer.

Do you feel these new guidelines provide a better option for the men in your life? Have you had any experience with prostate cancer?



  1. That is good news for men, when I first saw the pic I thought it was a pregnancy test kit and was thinking it is a bit to late for that for me 😂😂

    • you can allways do the test ,I had the PSA test ended up at,the,specialists had the invasive test he said have another in six months is he just making money .

    • Mum husband’s Urologist told him there was no hurry to have the radical prostatectomy as it is a slow growing cancer, but he decided to proceed quickly. His PSA tripled in the weeks leading up to the operation and he was very fortunate that the cancer was still (barely) contained in the prostate gland. Shocking disease and I am sorry to hear about your son Kathleen Watkins.

    • Ha ha ha Rosalind I thought exactly the same thing when I saw the picture. Never know mate with the miracles of modern science it may not be too late.

  2. Interesting. My doc used to see it the other way saying the psa test was not as accurate. He was once headed for the gloves when I said the psa would be just fine.

  3. Hello…my son is dying from prostate cancer which has now spread to his bones..all because a dr did NOT do a finger test!

  4. My gp has been checking my prostate with the blood test method for several years and in 2014 a test came back with an elevated reading suggesting further tests. Subsequent to those tests I was cleared of any cancer. One reason for elevated readings which is worth noting, according to my very pretty specialist is to avoid sexual activity 48 hours before the blood test. Now I know that is a big ask but to go through the day surgery and provide a scraping from ones prostate for pathology isn’t much fun either.

  5. Nikki  

    My husband took a PSA test which alerted his health professional to an irregularity in a hormone level. If it wasn’t for the PSA test who knows how long he would have had a pituitary tumor growing before the symptoms showed up. The test is just a blood draw.

  6. Had doctor just do preliminary tests as my Age and the fact he had family pass as result. Well he found increasing PSA since this diagnosis as Cancer all was removed and later test indicate Zero .
    Made me think more about the efforts to have regular tests by all .

  7. Tell this my late father, he was diagnosed at the tender age of 68 and 4 years later – RIP. Talk about slow growing

  8. Psa testing saved my husbands life. He was having regular 6 monthly Psa tests because his father had his prostate out. Between the initial tests and surgery 4 months later the tumour had doubled in size and was getting ready to leave the Prostate. Guys please have regular blood tests and if the finger is required then man up and have it. It could save your life. My husband is 3 years out from surgery and his Psa is fine. The only side effect from the surgery is erectile dysfunction. But the most important side effect is that he is still alive. I still have my wonderful husband. Life is precious.

  9. Sue  

    If we had waited two years between PSA testing I am not sure my husband’s outcome would have been so happy! He had a family history of PC and had aggressive cancer at 57. I sometimes wonder if men are just a little too precious about rectal exams! Have a baby fellas then complain! While the figures may show 40% may have had unnecessary surgery there is still a whopping 60% who needed it!

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