D Rating for PSA Test to Screen for Prostate Cancer

The USPSTF have continued to give screening using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) a D rating, meaning that they recommend against it. Their argument is that the harms outweigh the benefits, and at best, the benefits are small from 10 to 14 years after screening has commenced.

Many people will object to this recommendation, believing that many lives have been saved as a result of screening. The USPSTF's points are:

First, the screening process results in pain, suffering, and a small risk for other complications.

Second, there is a psychological consequence of receiving a false-positive test.

Third, many of those men who are diagnosed with cancer will receive a treatment that was unnecessary, because there is still a difficulty distinguishing prostate cancers that are life-threatening from those that are indolent.

Read the commentary here: http://bit.ly/UOrZ6R

Source: Medscape

Link to the USPSTF recommendation: http://1.usa.gov/UOrBW5