Providing clinicians and patients with important information to help guide decisions about prostate cancer screening.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) has reviewed the evidence on PSA-based screening for prostate cancer and published its final recommendation. The Task Force is deeply committed to a clear and transparent recommendation development process and this final recommendation was informed by comments we received on our draft recommendation from experts, stakeholders and the public. The Task Force recommends men ages 55 to 69 make an individual decision about prostate cancer screening with their clinician. The Task Force recommends against routine screening for men age 70 and older.
Men ages 55–69
For men aged 55 to 69 years, the decision to undergo periodic prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based screening for prostate cancer should be an individual one. Before deciding whether to be screened, men should have an opportunity to discuss the potential benefits and harms of screening with their clinician and to incorporate their values and preferences in the 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 increased risk?
Doctors should talk with their African American patients about their increased risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer, as well as the potential benefits and harms of screening. Doctors should also inform patients with a family history of prostate cancer about their increased risk of developing the disease. This is particularly important for men whose father or brother died from prostate cancer or were diagnosed at a younger age.
Is a C grade a recommendation against screening?
No, the Task Force is not recommending against screening all men ages 55 to 69. Men should discuss the benefits and harms of screening with their doctor, so they can make the best choice for themselves based on their values and individual circumstances. For men who are more willing to accept the potential harms, screening may be the right choice for them. Men who are more interested in avoiding the potential harms may choose not to be screened.
How has this recommendation changed from the draft?
Based on the public comments it received, the Task Force added more information to the final recommendation statement about the potential harms of screening and treatment, including psychological harms and harms from active surveillance. In addition, a new study was published since the 2017 draft recommendation on prostate cancer screening; information on this study was added to the final statement. Within the final recommendation statement, there is a section that provides an overview of the themes of the public comments received and how the Task Force responded to them.