More on the recent recommendations on reduced cancer screening. While the article ends up, sensibly enough, for informed patient doctor discussions on the benefits and risks of screening, the main point is:
The evidence that led to the changes is extensive. It shows that individuals are much more likely to receive a false-positive result, undergo unnecessary procedures such as biopsies or radiation, or experience life-altering side effects under the old screening programs than they are to have their life saved from cancer. Routine prostate screening, for instance, leads to a small reduction, or no noticeable reduction, in cancer deaths over a 10-year period, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, which crafted the new guidelines, while the risk of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction or other complications due to unnecessary testing and treatment are much higher. The PSA test leads many men to undergo treatment for cancer that never would have become symptomatic.