Prostate cancer: why screening PSA blood tests are dangerous

Released by NPS MedicineWise today, I host six short videos that discuss why doctors should think twice before ordering the blood test (PSA) that screens for prostate cancer.

It sounds like a simple, sensible thing for the GP to do – or for a bloke to request – but in fact, it can cause more harm than good.

How could PSA testing actually be dangerous? Watch and find out.

About Dr Justin Coleman

Justin is a GP in Brisbane and Director of Education for GPs in the NT. He edits a medical journal and two medical textbooks, and is a medical writer and educator. Further details at
This entry was posted in medical education and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Prostate cancer: why screening PSA blood tests are dangerous

  1. Jan Coleman says:

    “Far too young to be a doctor!” Was that Mike Birrell? Whoever, you’ve graduated with flying colours, Justin multi- talented one. You come across in these videos beautifully as you gently quiz your opinioned specialists. I’ve only watched three so far, John a few more. He can tell you what he thinks of the somewhat anti-screening emphasis, I’ve heard you before on the stats of prostrate screening and other cautionary tales like bowel and paps and others so I was looking more into you as presenter and interviewer and general all-round star (a mother’s prerogative.)

    Firstly, your intros and summaries were v. well done. No sign of an eye roving left-right across the prompters; there may well have been none because your questions to the docs and observations were delivered perfectly. 2) “Gunna” was the only Abbot-like grating in your 1st video intro. Forgiven becos you’re not Abbot-like in any other conceivable way. 3) Your appearance: good looking chiselled features, casual shirt to calm the anxious patient. It’s no wonder the camera kept pointing at you, nodding sagely or with just a hint of a smile where appropriate. 4) I reckon your (surprisingly narrow) lip lines turn up a bit at the edges because you’re a comedian as well as everything else and that fetching trait has etched itself into your features.

    I’m abs. delighted with those I’ve seen and will watch the rest tomorrow. And how important a subject for so many! I’ve forwarded it on to one of John’s tennis mates who regularly regales the whole crowd with a motley of emails re health issues, sexist jokes and various wonders of the world. I know he’ll send this to them all. Come to think of it, at least three of them have had prostrate cancer!

    You’re a marvel and I revel.


    But how well you do, young


  2. drdeloony says:

    Great vids, nice bite sized amounts of valuable info. A nice resource not only for doctors but also for patients/’consumers’.


  3. Pingback: FOAM4GP Map – Prostate screening. “What do you suggest doc?” | FOAM4GP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s