Terry Dyroff's PSA blood test led to a prostate biopsy that didn't find cancer but gave him a life-threatening infection.
In the emergency room several days later, "I didn't sit, I just laid on the floor, I felt so bad," said Dyroff, 65, a retired professor from Silver Spring, Md. "I honestly thought I might be dying."
Donald Weaver was a healthy 74-year-old Kansas farmer until doctors went looking for prostate cancer. A PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test led to a biopsy and surgery, then a heart attack, organ failure, and a coma. His grief-stricken wife took him off life support.
"He died of unnecessary preventive medicine," said his nephew, Dr. Jay Siwek, vice chairman of family medicine at Georgetown University. "Blood tests can kill you."