New prostate screening recommendations

AUA Responds to USPSTF Final Recommendations on Screening for Prostate Cancer

New evidence suggests that PSA blood tests can slightly reduce the chances of dying from the disease for some men, so those decisions may be a little easier. That could lead to a treatment for men and women suffering from baldness.

That's the final recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA. The test looks for elevated levels of a protein in the blood that may signal cancer but can also be caused by less serious prostate problems. We thank the USPSTF for implementing strategies to solicit feedback from the community on its research plan; for engaging urologists to review the evidence report upon which these recommendations were based; and for taking into account comments from the prostate cancer community in finalizing this guidance. (C recommendation) The USPSTF recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in men 70 years and older. Clinicians should not screen men who do not express a preference for screening.

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. The organization has been a steadfast proponent of screening for early detection that is not exclusively limited to the PSA test and provides education on other screening methods, genomic testing and prostate cancer biomarkers that help individualize patient care and treatment choices.

Whether to choose treatment if cancer is detected. And about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during a lifetime. "Prostate cancer is almost 100 percent survivable if caught early and screening is the best way to do that".

Age: The panel says men aged 70 and up should not be screened.

"The final recommendations released today support screening in this age group and are in direct alignment with the AUA's clinical practice guideline and guidelines from most other major physician groups - including the American Cancer Society, the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network -all of which advocate for shared decision making", said AUA President J. Brantley Thrasher. The guidance doesn't apply to men younger than 55 because they are considered low risk.

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