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Monday, October 29, 2012

Shorty won't shorten your life


A group representing Australian general practitioners says that prostate cancer tests do 'more harm than good' and the risks of being screened for prostate cancer outweigh the benefits. In its latest book of preventative health guidelines, the Royal Australian College for GPs advises its members not to recommend prostate cancer screening to patients. Professor Chris Del Mar from Bond University on the Gold Coast says the process is invasive and can lead to health problems.

"To find out whether you've got it involves an involved diagnostic procedures, a biopsy done through the rectum into the prostate," Professor Del Mar said.

While there's a 50 per cent chance men over the age of 60 will have the disease, Professor Del Mar says prostate cancer is entirely benign in most cases. Professor Del Mar says if he had the disease, he would not want to know. "The chances are - still - that it won't ever shorten my life," he said.

He says patients who are tested often develop serious infections, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Professor Del Mar says he is concerned about public awareness campaigns encouraging men to be screened for prostate cancer. "There's a lot of confusion in the minds of GPs and the general public," he said. "Screening for prostate cancer ends up doing more harm than good."

The published statistics on prostate cancer show that single men are diagnosed much less frequently than married men. On the other hand, married men diganosed with prostate cancer live longer than single men with the disease. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that men should stay single, but should get married if diagnosed with prostate cancer.

There you have it! Reminds me of a friend who some time ago went to see a urologist. He asked him, "What does the prostate do?" to which the urologist replied, "Makes me a lot of money!"

If you really have to do it, you may want to try this traditional Chinese method: