After a heated dispute and debate, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force sent out a recommendation draft against prostate cancer screening in men. Five years after this had been issued, the USPSTF has called back their statement and said that it is up to the individual himself if he wants to get a PSA screening test done.
PSA screening test involves taking a blood test to find out the levels of a certain protein. The results of the level point out any signs of prostate cancer. What this test can’t tell is if cancer is benign or malignant. This uncertainty leads to men often opting for treatment that could have been unnecessary. These treatments range from radiation therapies, surgery, and biopsies.
The grading was changed from a D to C in the revised recommendation for PSA screening. It also pointed out the potential harms and benefits that men of ages 55 to 69 years might experience from the screening test. The USPSTF urged and advised clinicians to first explain to these men, the possible harms and benefits of PSA screening test.
The USPSTF did not change the grading in the recommendation draft for those men of age 70 and above. They upheld the D recommendation centered on the fact that the PSA based screening will be of no benefit for these men. It was established that these men do not need to be screened for prostate cancer.
Many renowned medical officers and practitioners are happy about the amendments in the USPSTF recommendation. This has helped bridge the gap between the dispute between USPSTF and medical practitioners regarding the effectiveness of PSA screening tests.
Doctors are delighted to see that USPSTF is taking these screening tests as an important issue. Many men started having concerns if they should, or shouldn’t take a PSA test. Doctors had to persuade their patients that PSA testing is worthwhile and beneficial in reducing the risks of death by this disease. The USPSTF recommendation helped make an influence on men of ages 55 to 69 years to consider taking a PSA test for their own benefit.
The U.S. government advisory panel has left the for men to decide on their own. They can have a consultation with their doctor and then decide for themselves if they should opt for a PSA screening test.