Prizes for Prostates, round 2: Hawking PSA tests by offering Atlanta Hawks hoops tix

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We’ve seen it before.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about Roswell Park’s Prostate Club for Men offering “prizes for prostates” – Buffalo Sabres hockey tickets or Buffalo Bills football tickets among other awards for men who showed proof that they talked to their doctor about prostate cancer.

Now a bunch of Georgia radiotherapy centers and the Morehouse School of Medicine are among those promoting the “Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition and luring men in for PSA blood tests by offering them Atlanta Hawks basketball tickets.

Hawks tix for PSA.jpg

They also promote this misleading statistic: “1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.” No explanation is given of what lifetime risk means. And no explanation is given of how many of these “cancers” are indolent and would never have harmed a man.

The website says:

It is recommended that men with a family history of prostate cancer and African-American men be tested annually beginning by age 40 years old. All other men should begin testing by age 50.

“It is recommended” by whom?
Not by the American Cancer Society.
Not by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

In order to get your tickets, you must pledge:

I pledge to get a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening each year and ask my health care provider about prostate cancer. In doing so, I understand that I am doing my part to prevent prostate cancer. Yes, I commit to my family that I will not ignore this important health test any longer.

There should be another box:

Yes, I pledge to go elsewhere to get complete and balanced information on the tradeoffs involved in prostate cancer screening since I didn’t get it on this basketball-ticket-giveaway website.


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Michael Kirsch, M.D.

January 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

I’m a physician and warned my Dad not to have his PSA checked when he went to his doctor for a physical. Here’s why.