PSA Screenings for Prostate Cancer Continue in US Despite Task Force’s Opposition

PSA Screenings for Prostate Cancer Continue in US Despite Task Force’s Opposition
Although the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer in 2012, arguing it led to excessive treatment, no significant reduction in the use of these tests is evident, according to a study of PSA practices at a major medical center in the years just before and after the recommendation was announced. The study, "Testing and referral patterns in the years surrounding the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against prostate-specific antigen screening," published in Cancer, was based on electronic medical records of more than 275,000 visits by men to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "We used actual, real-world data and found that changes in PSA use, if any, are likely small," Dr. Yair Lotan, professor of Urology, chief of Urologic Oncology, and a member of UT Southwestern's Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a press release. "Many recent studies have claimed that the task force recommendations against PSA screening have caused a major change in prostate cancer screening. These studies were based on data sources including surveys, which could be subject to s
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One comment

  1. Chris O'Neill says:

    “despite a 39 percent drop in prostate cancer mortality since that time, the potential for overtreatment has concerned clinicians, Lotan said.”

    It is misleading to just point out the observation of a drop in mortality over a particular period since there are many other changing variables in that period that could have had an effect on mortality.

    The actual reason for concern about over treatment is that randomised controlled trials (which reduce the impact of confounding variables) have failed to show any significant improvement in overall survival from increases in PSA screening and consequent increases in treatment.

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