Prostate Cancer Screening Recs Updated Again
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued revised guidelines for prostate cancer screening on April 11th. In the new guidelines, men between the ages of 55 and 69 should decide whether to undergo routine screening for prostate cancer—PSA, prostate-specific antigen, testing—after discussing the risks and benefits of the test with their health care provider.
According to the task force, benefits of PSA testing are small, but screening can help reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer in some cases. However, PSA testing produces a high rate of "false-positives," which can lead to harm from unnecessary follow-up tests, misdiagnoses, and overtreatment. Prostate cancer treatment side effects can include impotence (erectile dysfunction) and urinary incontinence.
This latest screening update reflects a change from a "D" recommendation against prostate cancer screening for men 55 to 69, to a "C" rating recommending men should make a personal decision about testing after talking to their doctor. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for prostate cancer in men aged 70 and older.
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