Us TOO International has reviewed the latest draft statement from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) which provides a “C” recommendation for prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based screening for prostate cancer for men who are between 55 and 69 years of age. This is an improvement over the previous “D” recommendation issued by the task force in 2012, which advised against all PSA screening. The new statement also recognizes that the decision on whether or not to have a PSA test should be specific to each individual and an informed decision following a conversation between a man and his physician.
However, the recommended age range for testing overlooks the benefit of PSA screening for men who are older and younger. Consideration should also be given to men who are 70 and older, especially those continuing to monitor their PSA level as part of a routine annual physical. Moreover, the statement recognizes that African American men and men with advanced prostate cancer in their families are at a higher risk for prostate cancer, but it does not provide any guidance or recommendation for testing these men at an earlier age.
“While we’re pleased to see that the USPSTF has acknowledged the value of PSA testing, the recommendation leaves gaps in how to effectively address screening – especially in high-risk populations that also include military veterans exposed to Agent Orange,” said Us TOO International CEO Chuck Strand. “Guidelines are needed to ensure that all men have the opportunity to make an informed decision on whether or not to have a PSA test.”
The draft recommendation statement and draft evidence reviews are available for review and public comment from April 11 through May 8, 2017. The Task Force has developed answers to frequently asked questions, a fact sheet, and infographic to help clarify the draft recommendations. To access this information, review the draft recommendation statement and submit comments, go to: www.screeningforprostatecancer.org. We encourage those affected by prostate cancer to provide input on this important matter.
About Us TOO International
Us TOO is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 that provides educational resources and support services to the prostate cancer community at no charge to help men and their spouses/partners and loved ones make informed decisions about prostate cancer detection, treatment options and related side effects. In addition to more than 200 support groups throughout the U.S. and abroad, Us TOO provides monthly newsletters, educational events, Inspire online support community, toll-free HelpLine, printed materials and a comprehensive website (www.ustoo.org).