Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently released the draft of new guidelines indicating that it is dropping opposition to routine prostate cancer screening in favor of letting men decide for themselves after talking with their doctor. If formally adopted, the new guidelines would mark the reversal of earlier recommendations by the panel against routine PSA blood tests because studies indicated a lack of significant evidence that it saved lives and often led to over-treatment. The new draft guidelines agree with the position voiced by several leading medical groups that men, with the help of their doctor, should decide whether to take the PSA test, even if the chance is small of detecting a deadly cancer.
According to the panel, its new advice stems from long-term research indicating that for every 1,000 men offered PSA screening, one to two will avoid death from prostate cancer and three will avoid prostate cancer spreading to other organs.
The task force draft says screening conversations should begin at age 55. Other groups say start earlier, depending on family history of prostate cancer and other factors. It recommends against testing men aged 70 and older. The panel leaves open how often men should be screened. It does not recommend earlier testing for African Americans and those with a family history but says they should know their risks are higher.
Final guidance is expected to come from the Task Force later this year. For more information visit: https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/draft-recommendation-statement/prostate-cancer-screening1