Conflicted and imbalanced because they let Dr. David Samadi, who runs a robotic surgery center in New York, be the unchallenged expert about “raising awareness for prostate cancer.” In fact, they let the self-promotional Samadi get away with promoting the #SamadiChallenge – which, if you use that on Twitter, will eat up 16 of your available 140 characters to say anything meaningful. Samadi explained the Samadi Challenge this way:
“Getting women involved. Women go for their pap smears. They go for a mammogram. And now they have one more thing to worry about, which is the PSA and also their testosterone to check.”
What an effective message: Worry. Worry. Worry.
By the way, I’m sure he didn’t mean that women need to worry about their PSA level or their testosterone level.
Meantime, a graphic reading “GIRL POWER” appears across the bottom of the screen.
The segment is filled with misleading information. .
“the probability of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is 1 in 298 for men 49 years or younger, 1 in 43 for men aged 50 through 59 years, 1 in 16 for men aged 60 through 69 years, and 1 in 9 for men aged 70 years and older, with an overall lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer of 1 in 7.”
So, for men in their 40s – often targeted as the key starting age for men to start worrying about prostate cancer screening – the risk is 1 in 298 – not 1 in 6. Samadi’s prostate cancer center offered free prostate cancer screening to men over 40 last Saturday. Even the American Urological Association’s independent panel “does not recommend routine screening in men between ages 40 to 54 years at average risk.”
Let me emphasize: this is not an anti-prostate cancer screening message. But it is a strong warning for men against conflicted, imbalanced messages that may mislead men. Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society has said in the past: “We’re not against prostate cancer screening. We’re against a man being duped and deceived into getting prostate cancer screening.”
FOX News should think long and hard about what they’re doing.
For contrast, read Pittsburgh urologist Benjamin Davies’ thoughtful piece on Forbes.com, “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: A Double-Edged Sword.” In it, he concludes:
“Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a double edged sword; on the one hand, I want healthy patients screened but I also want those same patients to embrace the problems of prostate cancer screening. Patients should not fall for the casualness that has creeped into the general conversation. That is the reason I am generally opposed to mass screening programs – they can not and do not create an atmosphere for informed decision making. It can be challenging to embrace nuance but that is the state of prostate cancer screening and treatment. We should not be promoting individual surgeons as if volume makes the man. We should be promoting increasing basic science research efforts, collaborative surgical science studies, and informed decision making.”
That hyperlink in that excerpt, as you’ll see, goes to a David Samadi news release. Enough said.
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