Sunday, November 25, 2007

A PSA regarding the PSA

I just saw this headline “Obesity Affects Test of Prostate” and my mediocre mind immediately came up with, “Well, the gloved finger cannot get a good feel for the status of the gland when it has to navigate ponderous valleys of flesh, so no surprise there….” But my thinking was not only crass (as usual) but incorrect as well. The report was actually about a blood test for the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). It turns out that since obese individuals have a greater volume of blood they could show lower concentrations of PSA. This, in turn, could lead to misleading diagnoses that such individuals are disease-free.

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