National Panel Releases Revised Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendations

Whether you should get a PSA test is up to you and your doctor Task Force says

Whether you should get a PSA test is up to you and your doctor Task Force

"We hope our new recommendation will encourage discussions that provide men age 55 to 69 the information they need to make a decision about prostate cancer screening that is right for them", Owens, who is the co-chair of the task force, told me. The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommend against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, while the American College of Physicians, the American Urological Association and the American Cancer Society recommend shared decisionmaking but differ in certain details from one another and the USPSTF recommendations. The screening also helps in avoiding 3 cases of spreading prostate cancer for every 1,000 men.

The USPSTF said that men aged 70 and older should not be screened because of risks, such as the likelihood of false positives and increased testing. Six years ago, the USA...

The risks of screening: Elevated PSA levels don't always signal cancer but they require a biopsy to be sure, which carries the risk of infection. Doctors say the risks of screening outweigh the benefits. An estimated 29,000 men died and 165,000 men are anticipated to be detected with prostate cancer in this year. Its new guidance, echoing other groups' advice and affirming its draft recommendations issued a year ago, was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Active surveillance has become a more common choice for men with lower-risk prostate cancer over the past several years and may reduce the chance of over treatment. Many men with prostate cancer never experience symptoms and, without screening, would never know they have the disease.

A man's lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is about 13 percent, but the lifetime risk of dying of prostate cancer is only 2.5 percent, with half of those deaths occurring at age 80 or beyond, the Task Force authors note in their recommendation statement published on Tuesday in JAMA.

Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University for family medicine and population health and USPSTF's vice chairman, Dr. Alex Krist, claims that the extended follow up of more than a decade in these surveys, which was not obtainable in 2012, added up greatly to the decision to change the suggestion.

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