Prostate screening: should you or shouldn't you?

Posted May 10, 2018

The American Urological Association (AUA), today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) final recommendation statement on Screening for Prostate Cancer. Its new guidance, echoing other groups' advice and affirming its draft recommendations issued past year, was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Based on the latest scientific evidence, the Task Force hopes that men ages 55 to 69 who are considering prostate cancer screening and their doctors will have an open conversation about the benefits and harms of screening, so men can choose whether screening is right for them", Dr. Alex Krist, USPSTF vice chair from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, told Reuters Health in an email.

Whether to get screened for prostate cancer is a question that men aged 55 to 69 should decide themselves in consultation with their doctors, according to finalized guidance issued Tuesday by an influential panel of healthcare experts. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online. Older men are also more vulnerable than young men.

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.

But there is no evidence that prostate cancer screening improves overall survival. Conversely, possible harms associated with screening included false-positive results that required more testing and psychological harms.

Back in 2012, the panel discouraged routine screening for men of all ages because of the risks involved in additional testing and treatment. These men would be the best candidates for screening. Patients should consider their family history and medical conditions before agreeing to do a prostate screening.