Saturday, May 4, 2013

American Urologic Association Changes Stance on PSA Testing

USA Today published an article today headlined

Urology group stops recommending routine PSA test

This is an amazing development. The Urological Association has for many years been one of the more aggressive promoters of the PSA exam.  The new guidelines published by the Association are as follows:

  • PSA screening in men under age 40 years is not recommended.
  • Routine screening in men between ages 40 to 54 years at average risk is not recommended.
  • For men ages 55 to 69 years, the decision to undergo PSA screening involves weighing the benefits of preventing prostate cancer mortality in 1 man for every 1,000 men screened over a decade against the known potential harms associated with screening and treatment. For this reason, shared decision-making is recommended for men age 55 to 69 years that are considering PSA screening, and proceeding based on patients’ values and preferences.
  • To reduce the harms of screening, a routine screening interval of two years or more may be preferred over annual screening in those men who have participated in shared decision-making and decided on screening. As compared to annual screening, it is expected that screening intervals of two years preserve the majority of the benefits and reduce over diagnosis and false positives. 
  • Routine PSA screening is not recommended in men over age 70 or any man with less than a 10-15 year life expectancy.

 This represents a major departure from the past and, hopefully, signals a much more conservative and sensible use of the PSA exam.  

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