Monday, September 9, 2013

Urology Center Addresses PSA Screening

The physicians at Urology Centers of Alabama would like to clarify some confusion generated by the United States preventative services task force recommendations against PSA screening for prostate cancer.


The United States Preventative Services Task Force has determined that “there is a very small potential benefit and significant potential harm” from PSA screening.  The United States Preventative Service Task Force is a panel composed solely of 16 members, including doctors, nurses, deans, medical directors, chief officers, professors, and researchers and is chaired by a pediatrician.  There were no urologists, medical oncologists or radiation oncologists participating in the development of the recommendation. 


Statistics shows that since the advent widespread PSA screening in the early to mid 1990’s, the ten year survival for prostate cancer has increased from 53% to 97%; simultaneously, the death rate from prostate cancer in the U.S. has decreased by nearly 40%.  During that interval the incidence of prostate cancer has been virtually unchanged.


Therefore, our recommendations are based on scientific studies using a large number of patients, review of the Urology Centers of Alabama data pool, as well as the current “Best Practice Guidelines” from the American Urological Association.  Currently our recommendations include the following: 


Yearly PSA and DREs are recommended for the following by age groups:


Age 40-54 years of age:

1.    Any male concerned about the risk of prostate cancer.

2.    Any African-American male.

3.    Any male with a family history of prostate cancer (father, grandfather, brother, or son).


Age 55-70 years of age.   

 All male patients.


Age 70 years and older: 

1.    Any male concerned about the risk of prostate cancer.

2.    Any male patient with a life expectancy greater than 10-15 years.


(Some recent literature also suggests that checking a PSA and DRE every two years may be appropriate for those patients at low risk who have normal and stable exams).


Any of the physicians at the Urology Centers of Alabama will be happy to discuss this information further.  If you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact us. 


The physicians of Urology Centers of Alabama 

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