PSA Test Comes Under Attack

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The PSA, or prostate screening antigen, is a blood test doctors use to detect prostate cancer. Now, Dr. Stamey, a top researcher at Stanford University, says after years of research he does not think the PSA is a useful tool. He says it is too inaccurate to diagnose prostate cancer.

But local urologists disagree. Dr. David K. Johnson says the PSA, along with a digital rectal exam is the best method of screening for prostate cancer.

They say although it is not a perfect test, it has still significantly reduced the number of deaths from prostate cancer in the past 15 years. Dr. Johnson says the key is keeping track of the PSA results and looking for a trend.

The PSA is still recommended each year for all men over the age of 50. African Americans and those with a family history should start screening at age 40.