USPSTF against PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer

On October 7, 2011 The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that healthy men should not receive prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests as part of routine cancer screening. If that government panel’s recommendation is adopted, public and private insurance policies will ultimately stop paying for this vital test.

The PSA test provides early detection of irregularities that include an enlarged prostate or aggressive, fast-growing cancers. Thanks to early detection from a PSA test, 90% of all prostate cancers are discovered before they spread. At this early stage, the survival rate is nearly 100%.

Prostate Cancer & PSA—THE FACTS

  • Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men in the United States.
  • One in six men will develop prostate cancer. African-American men are at special risk for the disease, with the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world: 1 in 3 men.
  • There are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer while it is still in the early stages.
  • Testing for prostate cancer involves a simple blood test and physical exam that is currently covered by health insurance in many states.
  • PSA testing identifies prostate gland abnormalities in the absence of physical symptoms.
  • PSA levels vary from person to person. Regular PSA tests detect unexpected variations.
  • Before early detection through PSA testing, only 1 in 4 prostate cancer cases were found in the early stages.
  • PSA testing detects 90% of all prostate cancers before spreading to other areas of the body.
  • PSA testing allows patients to consult with their physician on a variety of treatment options.
  • Nearly 100% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early states are still alive 5 years from diagnosis.
  • PSA testing has contributed to a 20 percent to 70 percent decline in prostate cancer deaths since the mid-1990’s.
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