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NewsBites December 2011 Issue

Routine PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer Nixed

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says healthy men don’t need routine PSA (prostate specific antigen) screening for prostate cancer. The controversial draft recommendation is based on a USPSTF-commissioned study of data from five large randomized clinical trials, which failed to show a clear benefit from PSA screening. The widely used test does not save lives, according to the task force, and often leads to unnecessary further testing such as biopsies, interventions and treatments. Despite the popularity of PSA screening, no major medical group recommends routine PSA blood tests, and the task force already advised men over 75 to skip the tests. Task force head Virginia Moyer, MD, of the Baylor College of Medicine, commented, “We have put a huge amount of time, effort and energy into PSA screening and that time, effort and energy, that passion, should be going into finding a better test instead of using a test that doesn’t work.”

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