Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Experts change prostate screening guidelines yet again

Experts change prostate screening guidelines yet again

Back in 2012, the USPSTF (the United States Preventative Services Task Force), an independent group of disease prevention, and scientific medicine experts sponsored by the federal government, said, PSA screening for prostate cancer is causing more damage than good.

A leading task force has come out with new recommendations when it comes to prostate cancer screening in men. For these patients, risks of screening outweigh benefits because even if prostate cancer is found, they're more likely to die from other causes.

Regarding the USPSTF's advice to not screen men over age 70: While we agree that a number of older men are not candidates for prostate cancer testing, we believe that select older, healthier men may garner a benefit.

The American Cancer Society says that only lung cancer kills more American men than prostate cancer.

Whether to choose treatment if cancer is detected. This latest statement is an update of the 2012 recommendation. In determining whether this service is appropriate in individual cases, patients and clinicians should consider the balance of benefits and harms on the basis of family history, race/ethnicity, comorbid medical conditions, patient values about the benefits and harms of screening and treatment-specific outcomes, and other health needs.

Addressing men age 70 and above, Salvatore Giorgianni, PharmD, Senior Science Advisor to MHN stated, "The approach to screening men in later years should be more closely aligned with current life expectancy and adjusted every two to three years to reflect male life expectancy".

According to results of clinical studies, prostate cancer screening with the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test could prevent approximately 1.3 deaths from prostate cancer over 13 years per 1,000 men screened.

A key question is whether the patient has a higher-than-average risk for developing prostate cancer, says Dr. Michael Munger, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The panel said that men aged 55 to 69 years should consult with their physicians to discuss the benefits and harms of getting a screening.

A longer version of this piece was published by Stanford Health Policy.

Like this: