Providing clinicians and patients with important information to help guide decisions about screening.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) has reviewed the evidence on PSA-based screening for prostate cancer and has posted its draft recommendations for public comment. Men who are considering screening deserve to be aware of what the science says so they can make the best choice for themselves, together with their clinician. We encourage you to read our materials explaining these draft recommendations, and we welcome your feedback.
Men ages 55–69
The decision about whether to be screened for prostate cancer should be an individual one. The USPSTF recommends that clinicians inform men ages 55 to 69 years about the potential benefits and harms of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based screening for prostate cancer. Screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of dying of prostate cancer. However, many men will experience potential harms of screening, including false-positive results that require additional workup, overdiagnosis and overtreatment, and treatment complications such as incontinence and impotence. The USPSTF recommends individualized decisionmaking about screening for prostate cancer after discussion with a clinician, so that each man has an opportunity to understand the potential benefits and harms of screening and to incorporate his values and preferences into his decision.
Men age 70 and older
The USPSTF recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in men age 70 years and older.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Task Force recommend for men at high risk?
There is no one correct answer about screening for men who are at increased risk. We encourage African American men to talk to their clinician about their increased risk of developing and dying of prostate cancer, as well as the potential benefits and harms of screening. Men with a family history of prostate cancer should also talk to their clinician about the potential benefits and harms of screening. This is particularly important for men whose father or brother have been previously diagnosed.
Is a C grade a recommendation against screening?
No, the Task Force is not recommending against screening in men ages 55 to 69.
How can I comment on this draft recommendation?
Anyone can submit a comment on the Task Force’s recommendation through its Web site. Click here to begin.