US Preventive Services Task Force recently released a draft statement with updated
advice for the use of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in screening for prostate
cancer. They will be accepting public
feedback regarding their recommendations until May 8, 2017, after which time a
final recommendation will be released.
in 2012, the USPSTF unequivocally told doctors to discourage patients from
getting PSA testing. They stated that
the risks of false positives and overtreatment outweighed the benefits.
An important study looking at the
treatment of early stage prostate cancer was published in the New England
Journal of Medicine on Wednesday (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1606220?query=featured_home#t=articleBackground
). The use of prostate-specific antigen
(PSA) testing has dramatically increased the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Close to 181,000 cases of prostate cancer
will be diagnosed in the US in 2016 and over 26,000 men will die of the
disease. But many cases of this cancer
will progress slowly and not lead to death.
I attended the Annual Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Symposium on Friday, May 17. I listened to some great lectures. Especially interesting were the talks about PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing. This blood test started being used in the mid 1990's. Since it's use began, we have seen a doubling in the rate of prostate cancer, but not much change in the number of men dying from the disease.
Many have taken a closer look at the PSA screening test and prostate cancer as a whole.