Updated United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines on prostate cancer screening were recently published in Cancer.
The newest USPSTF recommendation calls for individualized decision making about whether to be screened for the disease after a discussion with a clinician. In doing so, each man has an opportunity to understand the potential benefits and harms of screening, and to incorporate his values and preferences into his decision.
The task force recommends that clinicians inform men ages 55-69 years old about the potential benefits and harms of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based screening for prostate cancer.
Although screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of dying of prostate cancer, many men will experience potential harms associated with screening. These can include: false-positive results that require additional testing and possible prostate biopsy; overdiagnosis and overtreatment; and treatment complications, such as incontinence and impotence.
The USPSTF recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in men age 70 years and older.
The task force also issued detailed recommendations on screening for African American men, men with a family history of prostate cancer, and other higher risk populations.
The updated 2017 USPSTF prostate cancer screening guidelines are available here.