Group says PSA decision should depend on life expectancy

The AP reports, “There’s more advice on the contentious issue of prostate cancer screening: A leading group of cancer specialists says the decision hinges in part on a man’s life expectancy.”

Physicians “should discuss the possible pros and cons of those PSA blood tests with men expected to live longer than another 10 years, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommended.”

Earlier this year, the “US Preventive Services Task Force…recommended against routine PSA screening for all men.”

Reuters reports that the new ASCO guideline is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

On its website, ABC News reports that Dr. Robert Nam, an ASCO panel co-chair, said, “A lot of men that have a long life expectancy would benefit from screening, especially those that will be diagnosed with aggressive forms of prostate cancer.”

Dr. Nam added, “Men with aggressive prostate cancer can benefit from early treatment.”

Other groups, like “the American Cancer Society and the American Urological Association…agree that men should discuss their options with their doctors before undergoing screening.”

HealthDay reports that the ASCO “panel’s conclusions were based on a study that indicated PSA screening could reduce deaths from prostate cancer by 20 percent among a group of men with more than 10 years of life expectancy, even though it did not cut deaths in other men.”

However, “the panel could not agree on when PSA screening should start, Nam noted.”

Medscape reports, “The ASCO panel explains that although ‘large clinical trials have found no reduction in overall mortality from routine PSA-based screening, the evidence is less clear in healthy men with life expectancies over 10 years, [and] this subpopulation alone may have lower prostate cancer specific-mortality with PSA testing.'”

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