Experts Discourage PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer

Many health experts have debated the effectiveness of prostate screenings as a way to identify cancer. European researchers concluded that the screenings were an effective way of identifying prostate cancer in the earliest stages when they conducted studies in the 1990s. However, medical experts have since found a new consensus.

A new report by the US Preventive Services Task Force suggests these screenings are not effective at identifying cancer in men. The federal panel’s conclusions were based off of two different trials.

These trials found that very few men’s lives were saved after they underwent these screenings. Also, many of the men who underwent these screenings were diagnosed with nonmalignant forms of prostate cancer. They subjected themselves to intensive treatment that were both costly and physically draining.

[box type=”note”]Previously, the panel advised men over the age of 75 not to undergo these screenings. They made no recommendation as to whether men under the age of 75 should pursue these screenings, because they didn’t have enough evidence to make any such recommendation.[/box]

Although this new report is considered big news for the medical industry, it is unclear whether or not physicians will follow the recommendations.

Oncologists and other cancer doctors disagree with the findings of the US Preventive Services Task Force. The American Cancer Society is also concerned with how these results will be communicated to the clients. Representatives from the health organization accuse doctors of failing to communicate results from studies such as this one with their patients.

According to a spokesperson from the American Urologist Association, the screenings will still be available to patients who request them. Physicians may continue to advocate that their patients undergo the screenings. That decision will ultimately be up to the doctors and their patients.

The impact of the new announcement is not clear at this time. The credibility of the task force has been challenged over the last few years. The task force argued against women seeking mammograms in 2009, even though those tests were advocated by nearly every medical organization in the United States. Congress even went so far as to write a new law demanding that the task force be more transparent with its rulings.

Even though the announcement was front-page news for the medical industry, it may not inspire the change the federal panel is hoping for.

Kalen Smith

Kalen Smith is a professional Internet marketer, consumer researcher and writer. He has been a writer for Weight Loss Triumph and is the cofounder of the blog Great Paleo Diet Cookbooks, where he writes about the paleo diet and lifestyle.

One thought on “Experts Discourage PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer

  • June 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    My doctor agrees with the research and we have decided I won’t be doing PSA testing anymore!


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