ProstAware’s Official Statement on PSA Screening
Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a statement recommending discontinuation of the PSA blood test for routine screening for early prostate cancer detection. While mentioning that more than 30,000 men in the United States die each year from prostate cancer, this statement failed to emphasize the following:
- No alternative method exists for detecting this potentially deadly disease at an early stage.
- If the PSA blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE) are abandoned, almost all prostate cancer diagnoses will be diagnosed at an incurable stage. In addition to death, prostate cancer can lead to an array of difficult-to-treat symptoms and a dramatically reduced quality of life.
- The death rate from prostate cancer has decrease since the introduction of the PSA blood test.
- Since prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease, data from a time span of greater than 15 years is required to show a difference between different methods of screening and treatment.
- The USPSTF did not include a urologist or oncologist on their panel. ProstAware takes a strong position that a yearly PSA blood test and DRE should be performed in males starting at age 40. The age of discontinuation is controversial and is best left as a discussion with the individual’s healthcare provider. The USPSTF has provided the U.S. male population a tremendous disservice by releasing their recommendation in such an unyielding fashion. Rather than targeting the screening test used for early prostate cancer detection, the Task Force should focus on the following:
- Alternative screening methods
- Recommendations to reduce the risk of prostate biopsy
- Methods for assessing the risks of the newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient and their need for treatment
- Best practice recommendations for risk reduction of the various treatments for prostate cancer
ProstAware is a nonprofit organization solely dedicated to creating prostate cancer awareness. ProstAware uses music and technology as branding vehicles to attract the attention of males and their loved ones. For more information, please visit ProstAware.org.