The evolvement of prostate cancer screening has taken a step in the right direction
After almost a decade of the 2012 recommendation by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) on discouraging routine prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer, more men have been paying the price of this decision – cases of advanced prostate cancer have risen significantly. Fortunately, after the 2017 USPSTF revised draft statement on prostate cancer screening reversing their previous 2012 recommendation, a significant jump in more men getting their PSA test has resulted.
This encouraging news is from a large study by Yale Cancer Center published online in the journal JAMA Oncology. Michael Leapman, Assistant Professor of Urology, stated, “The findings from our study are intriguing. Increases in PSA testing were expected based on renewed support the consideration of screening from the USPSTF. These findings underscore the importance of screening guidelines from the task force and the rapid responsiveness of clinicians and patients.”
Currently, the revised 2017 draft statement from the USPSTF, reversed its 2012 guidance advising against PSA screening for prostate cancer in all men, instead endorsing individual decision-making for men aged 55 to 69 years of age. The agency still recommends against PSA-based testing for men aged 70 years or older.
The retrospective cohort study published in JAMA Oncology, deidentified claims data from Blue Cross Blue Shield beneficiaries (aged 40 to 89 years) from 2013 through 2019. The purpose was to evaluate changes in rates of PSA testing after revisions in the USPSTF guideline on prostate cancer screening.
Findings from the study showed from 2016 to 2019, the mean rate of PSA testing increased from 32.5 to 36.5 tests per 100 person-years, a relative increase of 12.5%. During this same period, mean rates of PSA testing increased from 20.6 to 22.7 tests per 100 person-years among men aged 40 to 54 years with a relative increase of 10.1%; from 49.8 to 55.8 tests per 100 person-years among men aged 55 to 69 with a relative increase of 12.1%; and from 38.0 to 44.2 tests per 100 person-years among men aged 70 to 89 years with a relative increase of 16.2%.
The American Cancer Society estimates that for 2021, almost 250,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer with more than 34,000 men who will die from it. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. men and it is imperative for men, beginning at age 40, to start routine PSA screenings.
This study highlights the importance of routine PSA screenings for prostate cancer in men. Men want to have access to vital cancer screenings including PSA helping find and diagnosis prostate cancer at the earliest and most treatable stage possible. This is a quality of life issue for men who want to be in charge of their health and to be able to freely make decisions regarding their healthcare.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.