Tags: psa | prostate | guidelines

PSA Prostate Guidelines Widely Ignored

Friday, 27 April 2012 12:25 PM

Warren Buffet’s controversial decision to undergo a blood test screening for prostate cancer despite his advanced age of 81 is hardly unusual.
Despite recommendations in 2008 from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against so-called PSA testing for prostate cancer in men aged 75 years or older, almost half of men in that age group continue to do it, a new study has found.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that in 2010 -- two years after the Task Force's recommendations were announced -- the screening rate for that group of men using the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) actually increased, to 43.9 percent.
That’s higher than for men in their 40s (12.5 percent) or 50s (33.2 percent), who are more likely to benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Only men aged 60 to 74 were more likely to get the screening test (51.2 percent).
About 43 percent of men age 75 and took the PSA test in 2005, three years before the Task Force issued its guidelines recommending against the service, arguing that it " has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits."
Last October, the Task Force went even further in new draft recommendations, concluding there is not enough evidence that PSA screening improves men’s health or survival odds to recommend it for any age group. It is associated with "harms related to subsequent evaluation and treatments, some of which may be unnecessary," it said.
“PSA screening for more than 40 percent of men 75 or older is inappropriate," said lead researcher Dr. Scott Eggener, of the University of Chicago Medicine. "Selective screening is reasonable to consider for the healthiest men over age 75, but for the large majority of men in this age group, early detection can lead to treatment of a disease that will probably never cause a problem. A substantial proportion of men over 75 with an elevated PSA will die from something else before a prostate cancer interferes with the quality or duration of their life."

© HealthDay

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Like Warren Buffet, many older men undergo PSA screening despite expert advice against it.
Friday, 27 April 2012 12:25 PM
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