Not sure about whether to get a screening test for prostate cancer?

First, welcome to the club because recommendations about when men should get screened with a blood test for prostate cancer are literally all over the place.

Some experts, often urologists, would have every male screened as early and as often as that man would be willing to get tested.

Other experts, often epidemiologists, argue that because the PSA test still has too many false positive results ( a result indicating that you may have prostate cancer although far too often following follow-up testing, which alas, often includes biopsies of the prostate, it turns out that it’s a positive false alarm) and some false negatives ( a test result in the normal range even though there is cancer brewing in that prostate), we have to be far more judicious about the use of this test as a screening tool, especially as men get older when the odds of a false positive increase significantly as do the odds of complications as a result of the surgical intervention (to get those biopsies)

So if you are as confused as most men are about what to do, here’s something that might help you decide.

According to a recent study from Sweden, where they keep meticulous health records on everyone, family history is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer.

In other words, all else being equal, although it never is, if you have a strong family history of prostate cancer, start screening yourself at an early age.

If you don’t have a strong family history of this cancer, then you can take your time to begin getting screened.

It’s not rocket science, but then nothing else really is.