Healthy men should no longer have PSA measurements as a screening test for prostate cancer, according to a final recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
The so-called grade D recommendation applies to men of all ages but does not apply to the use of PSA testing for monitoring patients after a prostate cancer diagnosis or treatment.
Calling prevention of prostate cancer deaths the primary goal of screening, the task force cited a lack of evidence that PSA testing has an impact on that goal.
The USPSTF based its recommendation largely on data from two large trials of PSA screening for prostate cancer. One trial showed no difference in prostate cancer mortality between screened and unscreened men. The other showed an adjusted reduction in mortality risk of 29% among screened men, which the USPSTF translated into too few lives saved to offset the potential harms of screening.
The American Cancer Society weighed in on the issue, and generally supported the USPSTF decision.
The American Urological Association also responded. The AUA vice chair of the health policy council David Penson, MD, said the recommendation was not unexpected but was nonetheless disappointing.
Click here to view the full USPSTF recommendation statement on prostate cancer screening.
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Source: MedPage Today, May 21, 2012.