Last week, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a statement that it will downgrade its recommendation for prostate cancer screening. The previous recommendation from August 2008 states “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening in men younger than age 75 years”. The USPSTF now recommends prostate cancer screening via the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, in asymptomatic men because evidence indicates that the harms of the test outweigh its benefits.
This statement has received significant media attention in the United States and in Europe, and is felt to be very controversial. The American Urological Association (AUA) responded immediately to the USPSTF's statement, citing “the task force’s recommendations will ultimately do more harm than good to the many men at risk for prostate cancer, both here in the US and around the world. Until there is a better widespread test for this potentially devastating disease, the USPSTF — by disparaging the test — is doing a great disservice to the men worldwide who may benefit from the PSA test” (AUA Daily Scope, October 13, 2011)./