Prostate Cancer Revisited

After a recent meeting of the USPSTF, the committee’s position on PSA’s and their use for screening for prostate cancer was changed for the better. Prior to this April, the task force had steadfastly recommended against PSA testing for all men because of the likelihood of false positives leading to unnecessary prostate biopsies and their attendant complications. In a rather startling revision of their guidelines, the USPSTF stated that men aged 55-69, after a discussion with their physician, should have PSA testing if they decide they want it. This policy warranted a Grade of “C” meaning they still have some doubts about the value of PSA’s but not to the degree they had when it was graded “D.”

D. G’s Opinion: This is a welcome change for urologists and family physicians. It at least lends some credence to their long-held position of recommending PSA testing to all men age 50-70 and for high risk men at age 45. These physicians have criticized previous guidelines as naive and even ridiculous leaving the public with the impression that prostate cancer is an insignificant disease. But it’s still a cancer that results in over 25,000 deaths every year.

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