The Herald carries a story this morning on the planned inquiry by the Health select committee into the screening and treatment of this nasty disease and notes:
Committee chairman Dr Paul Hutchison said yesterday that the committee hoped to clarify the confusion faced by some patients because of the different messages they received from the Ministry of Health and some specialists.
"The clinicians are saying the evidence is pretty clear to give men better information on early detection and improvements in early treatment."
But the ministry, unwilling to pursue a national screening programme, goes no further than encouraging GPs to explain the risks and benefits of the disease and the testing - when asked by patients.
Prostate cancer screening is controversial. Some want a national scheme like the female breast and cervical programmes; others says the screening tests - prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and digital rectal examination (DRE) by a doctor - are too unreliable and many well men would be needlessly harmed.
Who do we trust here? Do we trust the cliniciains, who are dealing with the disease and its effects on hundreds of men every day, or do we trust the policy boffins at the Health Ministry, who get no closer to prostate cancer sufferers than their computer models? We think we'd ;ean towards trusting the clinicians, and we will be watching the select committee's deliberations very, very closely.