Federal Task Force Recommends Dropping Routine Prostate Cancer Test
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force finds scant evidence that the PSA blood test saves lives and instead says unneeded treatment leads to serious problems, including impotence and incontinence.
The Washington Post: Government Task Force Discourages Routine Testing For Prostate Cancer
Men should no longer receive a routine blood test to check for prostate cancer because the test does more harm than good, a top-level government task force has concluded in a final recommendation that immediately became controversial (Vastag, 5/21).
The Associated Press: Final Advice: Panel Against Routine Prostate Test
Healthy men shouldn't get routine prostate cancer screenings, says updated advice from a government panel that found the PSA blood tests do more harm than good. Despite strenuous protests from urologists, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is sticking by a contentious proposal it made last fall. A final guideline published Monday says there's little if any evidence that PSA testing saves lives — while too many men suffer impotence, incontinence, heart attacks, occasionally even death from treatment of tiny tumors that never would have killed them (Neergaard, 5/21).
The Wall Street Journal: Men Should Skip Common Prostate Test, Panel Says
The recommendations can influence coverage decisions by Medicare and other insurers, though under current law, Medicare must cover annual PSA testing (Dooren, 5/21).
Los Angeles Times: PSA Test For Prostate Cancer Should Be Dropped, Task Force Says
The PSA test should be abandoned as a prostate cancer screening tool, a government advisory panel has concluded after determining that the side effects from needless biopsies and treatments hurt many more men than are potentially helped by early detection of cancers. At best, one life will be saved for every 1,000 men screened over a 10-year period, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. But 100 to 120 men will have suspicious results when there is no cancer, triggering biopsies that can carry complications such as pain, fever, bleeding, infection and hospitalization (Mestel, 5/22).
NPR Shots Blog: All Routine PSA Tests For Prostate Cancer Should End, Task Force Says
There they go again — those 17 federally appointed experts at the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are telling American doctors and patients to stop routinely doing lifesaving tests. Or at least that's the way some people look at the task force's latest guidelines on prostate cancer screening, which say doctors should stop doing routine PSA tests on men of any age (Knox, 5/21).
Reuters: U.S. Task Force: End Routine Prostate Cancer Screening
The reaction was fast and furious. Screening advocates warned that the recommendation will cost lives, but critics of PSA testing said thousands of men will be spared impotence and incontinence as a result of needless cancer treatment (Begley, 5/21).
Bloomberg: Prostate-Cancer Test Not Worth Risk, Advisory Panel Says
The government-sponsored task force is an independent medical advisory group that drew criticism in 2009 for questioning the value of breast-cancer screening in women younger than 50. ... While doctors are still free to suggest PSA tests, they should be prepared to discuss the potential downsides, the report said. Community- or employer-offered mass screenings should be discontinued, the group said. ... The findings won the endorsement of the American Cancer Society in an accompanying editorial (Nussbuam, 5/22).
Medscape Today: Final USPSTF Guidelines: No To Routine PSA Testing
It's final. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now officially recommends against routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based prostate cancer screening for healthy men, regardless of age. ... The USPSTF last published recommendations on prostate cancer screening in 2008. At that time, researchers concluded that there was no evidence to support PSA testing for men older than age 75. Now this recommendation extends to all men (Mulcahy, 5/21).
MedPageToday: USPSTF Turns Thumbs Down On PSA Testing
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 (Bankhead, 5/21).