Latest Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendation from the USPSTF

In 2012, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) stopped recommending PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing to screen for prostate cancer because the group thought it was more harmful than beneficial.

Men 55 and older may not need to bother with prostate cancer screenings. The NHS has never recommended screening because interventions for the high numbers of false positives can make men impotent or incontinent.

The European test displayed that a screening was able to save 1 death by prostate cancer for each 1,000 males screened between the age of 55 and 69.

In a story for Stanford Health Policy, Douglas Owens, MD, director of Stanford's Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care Outcomes and Research, said there is also new information on active surveillance - a way of monitoring prostate cancer that may allow some men with low-risk prostate cancers to delay or, in some cases, avoid treatment with radiation or surgery.

"Different men will weigh the potential benefits and harms differently, so the most important thing for them to do is talk with their doctor - armed with the research and guidance provided by our recommendation - so that they can make an informed decision based on their values and individual situation", Krist said.

The risks of not screening, including a small chance of developing prostate cancer that could grow so slowly, patients would likely die of something else. PSA-based screening and the prostate biopsies used to follow-up on high PSA levels can not tell for sure which cancers are likely to be aggressive and spread, and which will grow so slowly that they will never cause any problems.

"This update is a win for early detection of prostate cancer". Clinicians should not screen men who do not express a preference for screening.

Furthermore, we applaud Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7), Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL-1) and other leading lawmakers who have encouraged USPSTF to adopt a more transparent process that is inclusive of disease experts and other interested stakeholders. Patients should consider their family history and medical conditions before agreeing to do a prostate screening.

  • Santos West