USPSTF Issues Draft Recommendations on PSA Screening
On May 21, 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released final recommendations against prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer, asserting that there is "moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits," and discouraged the use of the test by issuing it a Grade D rating.
The AUA's Position
The AUA is outraged and believes that the Task Force is doing men a great disservice by disparaging what is now the only widely available test for prostate cancer, a potentially devastating disease. We hold true to our current position as supported by the AUA's Prostate-Specific Antigen Best Practice Statement that, when interpreted appropriately, the PSA test provides important information in the diagnosis, pre-treatment staging or risk assessment and monitoring of prostate cancer patients. But not all prostate cancers are life-threatening. The decision to proceed to active treatment or use surveillance for a patient's prostate cancer is one that men should discuss in detail with their urologists.
The AUA's Response
Immediately following the release of the USPSTF recommendations, AUA President Sushil S. Lacy, MD, released a formal statement on behalf of the AUA.
On October 7, 2011 the Task Force released the draft recommendations against PSA testing. Immediately following the release of these recommendations, AUA President Sushil S. Lacy, MD, released a formal statement on behalf of the AUA. The AUA also assisted with an immediate Hill response to Secretary Sebelius detailing the concerns with the recommendation. The AUA is coordinated a sign-on letter for lawmakers headed up by Rep. Price to send collectively to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, urging her to reject the USPSTF recommendations. On November 8, the AUA submitted a formal comment letter to the Task Force outlining our concerns about the recommendations.
On January 17, 2012, the New Jersey state legislature passed an act (AJR89/SJR77) opposing the USPSTF recommendations on PSA testing. They are the first state to take this action, which guarantees coverage for the test in spite of the USPSTF recommendation, and the AUA applauds them for doing taking this bold and decisive stand. Click here for more information.
In the News
News outlets around the country are reporting on this issue. Below are some highlights of these top stories:
· "Should I get screened for that?," CNN