News reports say the United States Preventive Services Task Force will next week release new recommendations saying that healthy men should no longer receive a P.S.A. blood test to screen for prostate cancer. Below are comments from Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
“We cannot comment on the evidence review or on the recommendations until they are made public. We look forward to the release of the evidence review and the new recommendation.
“It is important to keep in mind that under the new USPSTF process, the recommendation is not final until the conclusion of the public comment period and the USPSTF’s review of those comments.
“The American Cancer Society went through the existing body of evidence in 2009 and determined that we could not conclude whether or not screening saves lives.
“The ACS recommends that men have an opportunity to make an informed decision with their health care provider about screening for prostate cancer after they receive information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits associated with testing for early prostate cancer detection. The ACS also strongly asserted that prostate cancer screening should not occur without an informed decision-making process.
“We have long been concerned and it has been very apparent for some years that some supporters of prostate cancer screening have overstated, exaggerated, and in some cases misled men about the evidence supporting its effectiveness. We need balanced, truthful information to be made widely available to physicians and patients when making important health decisions. Sadly, that has not happened with this disease.”
For more information, please see Prostate Cancer: Early Detection on cancer.org