New Recommendations for PSA-based Prostate Cancer Screening Fuels Debate

New Recommendations for PSA-based Prostate Cancer Screening Fuels Debate
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has developed a Draft Recommendation Statement of prostate cancer screening using PSA (prostate-specific antigen), now stating that PSA-based screening is recommended in certain age groups. This is an upgrade from the latest recommendation, issued in 2012, which advised against all PSA-based prostate cancer screening. According to the USPSTF, the change in recommendations reflects new evidence of the effectiveness of PSA tests to detect cancer. The grade C recommendation states PSA-based screening provides a small benefit for men ages 55 to 69, and that physicians should inform this group about the potential benefits and harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer. In addition, the statement pointed out that the decision of whether to screen or not should lie with the individual man, after an informed discussion with his physician. For men age 70 and older, the task force retained the grade D recommendation advising against screening. Us TOO International, a nonprofit organization that provides education and support to the prostate cancer community, applauded the changes, but pointed to several gaps in the information. For example, the statement pointed out that African Americans and men who have a family history of advanced prostate cancer are at higher risk for prostate cancer, but did not provide guidance on potential earlier screening in these groups. “While we’re pleased to see that the USPSTF has acknowledged the value of PSA testing, the recommendation leaves g
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2 comments

  1. Chris O'Neill says:

    “now stating that PSA-based screening is recommended in certain age groups”

    to individual patients based on professional judgment and patient preferences. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/grade-definitions

    “This is an upgrade from the latest recommendation”

    from atrocious to mediocre. http://www.healthnewsreview.org/2017/04/new-prostate-cancer-screening-guidelines-are-an-update-not-a-capitulation-as-portrayed-in-some-news-reports/

    “The grade C recommendation states PSA-based screening provides a small benefit for men ages 55 to 69”.

    The grade C recommendation says “There is at least moderate certainty that the net benefit is small.” This means there is at least moderate certainty that the net benefit is small, at best. i.e. the benefit is either small or nothing.

    “and that physicians should inform this group about the potential benefits and harms of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer.”

    Don’t expect the current appalling 69% of men not told anything about their PSA screening or only told the “benefits” to improve significantly anytime soon. https://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/pb/71357

  2. Tom Hulsey says:

    The PSA and early detection saved my life. After years of not changing, my PSA trended up. After the initial spike, my doctor checked my PSA again, at 6 months and then 9 months. Since it was going up, he recommended the absolute – a biopsy. The widow of my best friend that succumbed to this terrible disease shortly before my diagnosis will tell you that by skipping a year in getting his PSA checked; cost him his life. Like me, he was the picture of health.

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