The "PSA test" for prostate cancer has become an annual ritual for millions of middle-aged men. But what’s billed as "early detection" may be doing more harm than good. We hear the findings of a government task force and the reaction from a divided medical profession. Also, the SpaceX Dragon capsule docks on the International Space Station, and Egypt prepares for a divisive run-off election.
FROM THIS EPISODE
A NASA astronaut on the International Space Station said today, "We've got a dragon by the tail." That would be the Dragon capsule launched by Space X, to make history as the only private company to accomplish an orbital rendezvous. Jonathan McDowell is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He writes about the space program at Jonathan's Space Report.
When it comes to cancer, the watchword has long been "early detection," routine testing for common forms of the disease. But the United States Preventative Services Task Force says testing for common cancers may do more harm than good, to men as well as to women. First it was mammograms for breast cancer; now it's the PSA test for cancer of the prostate gland. In both cases, there's been a powerful blacklash. We focus on the prostate findings, which some specialists say they plan to ignore. Are they afraid of lawsuits? Will patients demand early detection? Will insurance companies deny reimbursement? Will the findings cut the cost of health care by establishing a form of rationing?
Sharon Begley, Reuters (@sxbegle)
Shannon Brownlee, New America Foundation (@shannonbrownlee)
William Catalona, Northwestern University
Craig Pollack, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
There were more than a dozen presidential candidates for voters to choose from over the past two days in this week's first free presidential election in the history of Egypt. Nobody was surprised when yesterday, it was clear that the biggest plurality went to Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, it appeared the other place in next month's runoff will be filled by Ahmed Shafik. A late entry into the race, the last prime minister for the Mubarak regime was considered a dark horse. That's according to David Kirkpatrick, Cairo Bureau Chief for the New York Times.