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    Guarded approval for new USPSTF PSA grade

    Grade D recommendation for men ≥70 years criticized

     

    AACU president discusses recommendation

    AACU President Charles A. McWilliams, MD, said the USPSTF’s recommendation incorporates many of the AACU’s longstanding positions and past comments that call for an individualized approach to screening based on an informed discussion between patients and doctors.

    He said the task force’s call for additional research on prostate cancer in African-American men “reinforces the need for individualized evaluation of the appropriateness of PSA-based screening based on factors specific to each patient.”

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    “These factors, of course, include age, and the AACU opposes the task force’s blanket recommendation against screening for men over the age of 70,” said Dr. McWilliams. “With life expectancy growing two-and-a-half years every decade, we believe select men over the age of 70 may benefit from prostate cancer screening.”

    The AACU also cautioned against associating PSA-based screening with potential harms of overtreatment, which USPSTF emphasized in its draft recommendations.

    “Continuing to tie potential complications with the awareness-raising test does not match up with the task force’s own acknowledgement that ‘[active] surveillance has become a more common treatment choice for men with lower risk prostate cancer over the past several years,’ ” he said.

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    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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