All of us in the prostate cancer world know that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) has announced its recommendation against routine PSA screening for men. There remains much debate and unhappiness in both the medical community (urologists and oncologists) as well as in the prostate cancer community itself.
There remains a lot of confusion since the PSA test, even when coupled with a DRE and a biopsy is not a full proof screening mechanism for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Even when there is an accurate positive diagnoses these tests do not tell us which cancer will progress and will not. His situation leads to over treatment.
On the flip side, men die from prostate cancer. Actually, prostate cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of men in the United States.
Treatment for prostate cancer, both advanced prostate cancer and organ confined prostate cancer has made remarkable gains in the last five years. Radiation is more accurate, surgical techniques have advanced, drug therapy options have expanded and we even have immune therapy!
On the bad news side is that the USPTF has said that screening is not necessary.
The USFTF, which is made up of primary care physicians, ob/gyn and pediatricians, did not have any urologists or oncologists on the board. Despite the fact that the urologic community and the oncology communities have argued that PSA screening has made a big difference in the battle of prostate cancer and has saved many lives.
This raging debate has culminated in a new bill called USPSTF Transparency and Accountabilit