Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds USPSTF for encouraging shared decision-making between men and their doctors
United States Preventive Services Task Force releases new draft recommendations on PSA testing for prostate cancer
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 11, 2017 – The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today released new draft recommendations on prostate cancer screening with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures the level of PSA in the blood of men. The changes were based on new research on potential benefits of screening and the use of ‘active surveillance’ as appropriate when prostate cancer is found. The task force has upgraded PSA testing for men ages 55 to 69 to a “C” rating and now says each man should discuss the potential benefits and harms of screening with his doctor.
This is a marked change from the USPSTF’s 2012 recommendation, which gave a “D” rating to men in this age group, and said that any potential benefit from the PSA test was outweighed by possible harms.
Men with prostate cancer will usually have elevated PSA levels, though high PSA levels can also be caused by several non-cancerous conditions, such as an enlarged prostate (BPH). Early detection of prostate cancer followed by prompt treatment saves lives. However, some men are treated for cancers that will never cause them harm, and they must live with the side effects and complications of these treatments. We look forward to the day when prostate cancer screening can tell the difference between cancers that are likely to be aggressive and those that are likely to remain indolent and not cause harm, but for now there are tests available that can distinguish between these types of cancers and help guide biopsy and treatment decisions.
If you are at average risk for prostate cancer, the Prevent Cancer Foundation® continues to recommend you begin talking to your health care professional about the pros and cons of screening at age 50.
If you are at increased risk of prostate cancer, start this conversation with your doctor earlier.
About The Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy across the country.
For more information, please visit preventcancer.org.