My patients and readers of my articles and blogs are very familiar with my strong stance on the absolute need for annual prostate cancer PSA screenings to diagnose and treat prostate cancer. I have never been a proponent of the ill-advised recommendation of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to stop routine PSA screenings
A little history is in order. In 2008, USPSTF ignited controversy in the medical community when they advised against most routine screening for prostate cancer with a PSA blood test. In 2012, the USPSTF went on to issue guidelines against PSA screenings. This recommendation set off a firestorm of debate in the urological community and I joined my colleagues in condemning this recommendation. Most urologists are advocates of annual prostate testing with a PSA and a rectal examination.
In the ensuing years, there have been a number of studies illustrating that the increase in prostate cancer deaths can be linked to a slowdown in routine PSA screenings. Now, definitive evidence is in! A January 2021 study, “Association of Reductions in PSA Screening Across States with Increased Metastatic Prostate Cancer in the United States,” establishes the fact that the rise in metastatic prostate cancer is linked to PSA screening reduction. At the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, investigators reported the following finding, “In states with larger decreases in PSA screening, there was a larger increase in the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer at diagnosis.”1
I have one of the largest prostate cancer practices in the world. My goal is to diagnose prostate cancers at an early stage so they can be treated with one of the minimally invasive options that I have helped to develop. By taking charge of your healthcare, and being sure you are properly screened every year, you can prevent advanced prostate cancer. (Read my September 2020 article, “Four Ways to Prevent Advanced Prostate Cancer”).
1 Vidit Sharma, Abhishek Venkataramana, et al. Association of reductions in PSA screening across states with increased metastatic prostate cancer in the United States. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 6):228. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.6_suppl.228
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