LINTHICUM, MD, April 27, 2009The American Urological Association (AUA) today issued new clinical guidance which directly contrasts recent recommendations issued by other major groups about prostate cancer screening, asserting that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test should be offered to well-informed, men aged 40 years or older who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years. The PSA test, as well as how it is used to guide patient care (e.g., at what age men should begin regular testing, intervals at which the test should be repeated, at what point a biopsy is necessary) is highly controversial; however, the AUA believes that, when offered and interpreted appropriately the PSA test may provide essential information for the diagnosis, pre-treatment staging or risk assessment and post-treatment monitoring of prostate cancer.
The new Best Practice Statement updates the AUA's previous guidance, which was issued in 2000. Major changes to the AUA statement include new recommendations about who should be considered for PSA testing, as well as when a biopsy is indicated following an abnormal PSA reading. According to the AUA, early detection and risk assessment of prostate cancer should be offered to well-informed men 40 years of age or older who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years. The future risk of prostate cancer is closely related to a man's PSA score; a baseline PSA level above the median for age 40 is a strong predictor of prostate cancer. Such testing may not only allow for earlier detection of more curable cancers, but may also allow for more efficient, less frequent testing. Men who wish to be screened for prostate cancer should have both a PSA test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). The Statement also notes that other factors such as family history, age, overall health and ethnicity should be combined with the results of PSA testing and physical examination in order to better determine the risk of prostate cancer. The Statement recomm
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American Urological Association