Why would anyone want to have a PSA test? Because it can save lives.
It’s true, many men out there do have prostate cancer that doesn’t do a whole lot, but just seems to percolate in the prostate without spreading. Are you one of those men? Are you willing to gamble, with your life, that you are? Or that you won’t live long enough for your prostate cancer to spread? Ideally, doctors would be able to tell the difference between harmless and aggressive tumors, and treat only the “bad” kind of cancer. However, as a Mayo Clinic urologist recently concluded: “Since we do not have the capability to reliably distinguish aggressive tumors from those that are clinically insignificant, one must assume that any prostate cancer identified in a man with a life expectancy of 10 years or more is potentially life-threatening, and should therefore be treated.” This doesn’t mean, as some would argue, that surgery—and particularly, unnecessary surgery—is the automatic next step; it isn’t, not by a long shot.