To test or not to test

ASSOCIATE Professor Paul McKenzie, president of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), admits he took several deep breaths when his organisation decided to develop guidelines on PSA testing. 

Although they knew the final product would be controversial, they also knew other organisations’ policies and position statements had not yet answered one vital question: what is the best use of serum PSA when testing for prostate cancer?

“Our intent wasn’t to debate the benefits of testing or not testing for early prostate cancer, or to increase the level of testing in the community. Our intent was to add to the level of information out there,” he says. 

“The nuts and bolts of how you go about testing hasn’t been covered in detail by other organisations, so we – and really, this is our area of expertise – filled the gap.” 

In short, the RCPA has recommended that