Yesterday, a panel of doctors who are charged with reviewing preventative medicine ruled that a blood screening for prostate cancer, the second deadliest cancer, is unnecessary. This is mostly because people don't like to be told they have cancer, especially with the treatment and biopsies that occur after a positive result: 5,000 men died after surgery, and up to 70,000 had "serious consequences" after the biopsy, in addition to the 300,000 who experienced impotence or incontinence from 1985 to 2005. The doctor who developed the test has called it a "public health disaster." But Rudy Giuliani tells the Post that the test saved his life: "I believe it's the reason I'm alive. It's really a mistake to move away from this. It's very dangerous." Well, that settles it!
Giuliani was tested at age 56 when he was in "perfect health," and the former mayor credits the test for alerting him of an unseen threat to his life. Only skin cancer is more common in men, and one third between the ages of 40 and 60 have prostate cancer. So would you rather live with the soul-crushing knowledge that your body is destroying itself, or deal as best you can with the slew of problems you already have? Like its recommendation to cut back on unnecessary mammograms, the panel is telling us to relax: sweet death will come soon enough.