The little nut

Yipes!

Let’s talk about the little nut we men are born with. It’s a topic of less interest to women, so you ladies might want to go watch a cooking show.

Or Oprah. But I think she’s gone now.

The little nut rests, hidden from view, down near our sausage and eggs. We go most of our lives neither noticing nor thinking of it. It does its work, whatever that might be, silently and efficiently.

Then we get older, and it can — like many aging men — get crotchety and mean.

The American medical community has for decades recommended a test, called by its initials the PSA, to screen for prostate cancer.

But then a funny thing happened, very gradually. It became clearer that “the cure” was worse than the disease, and many doctors had second and third thoughts.

Something called the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force yesterday said this:

Don’t do it!

I quit doing it a couple of years ago, but I’ve long been ahead of the game. No matter what the game, I’m usually ahead of it. I leave my nut in peace. You should too.

Here’s why:

For every 1,000 men who get the test:

1. One will avoid death from prostate cancer. Just one.

2. One will get a blood clot in his lungs or legs from the treatment.

3. Two will have heart attacks from the treatment.

4. Up to 40 will be left impotent and/or incontinent from the treatment.

This is a pretty lousy trade-off, gentlemen. Leave your nut in peace.

* * * *

(Note: We’re finally off to the Pacific sands today for a short spell. If I don’t respond to something, that’s why. I’ll give my nut a little sunshine. My child bride has no nut.)

(Note 2: This brings to mind the transsexual Canadian beauty pageant contestant Jenna Talackova, a real babe. Her sausage and eggs were removed, of course, but one wonders about her nut. Was it left in peace?)

17 thoughts on “The little nut”

  1. Coincidentally mi esposo has an appt this AM and will, presumptively, have a PSA test. But it will be interesting to find out what the doc recommends given the latest media news about its being superfluous.

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    1. One more thing: Not mentioned specifically in yesterday’s report, it seems, but true nonetheless, is that the PSA also has a significant level of false positives. Can of worms!

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      1. Yes, we have long been aware of that. At least since they discovered this particular blood marker MIGHT indicate cancer. The doc took blood for the test but mainly because of familial incidences which had occurred to esposo’s hermano y padre. But we have agreed between us that there will be no cutting in any case.

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        1. Carole: From what I have read, most men will get prostate cancer in time. But it almost always grows so very slowly that men usually die of something else first, like old age. The PSA test discovered prostate cancer in my father too, and he went through all sorts of work as a result. I never got the details because we were not close. That all happened before the tide of medical opinion began to turn against the test. I would bet big money that the worry and whatever else he went through were totally unnecessary.

          Can of worms!

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  2. I had a false positive last year. A subsequent test showed a normal nut. Better than normal in fact. I went for my annual blood tests last week and the PSA was included. I just got a call to come and see my doctor next Tuesday. Maybe another??

    The PSA test itself does no harm, it is simply a blood chemistry test. It is what they do if they see a high reading that can hurt. Last year my doc “gave me the finger” and found nothing out of the ordinary, as did the next PSA test.

    Thanks for posting this. Your timing is impeccable.

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    1. Croft: Were I you, I would leave that PSA test in peace. It’s just going to cause you grief. You are right in that the test is nothing, just a blood test. It’s what it can lead to that is the problem.

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  3. Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s right-hand man, recently was interviewed and said he had for years prohibited his doctors from giving him the PSA test. It appears that he too years ago concluded what the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and you have just concluded.

    I’ve always thought the treatment sounded horrendous. I’m glad the medical establishment now seems to agree.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we have lots of brainy doctors.

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