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American Urological Association Statement in Support of Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing
Date:3/26/2009

LINTHICUM, Md., March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The statement below is attributable to Dr. John Barry, president of the American Urological Association. This statement is being issued in response to two studies recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing.

The American Urological Association has read with great interest the coverage surrounding the two studies about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and is concerned about the alarm these two studies have raised with patients. The decision to screen for prostate cancer is a personal one that a man should make in conjunction with his physician or urologist. Because most cancers need to be caught in their earliest stages to achieve the best outcome for the patient, disparaging the PSA test puts men - particularly with certain risk profiles - at risk for life-threatening disease. Prior to the use of the PSA test, tumors were found mostly in advanced - and less treatable - stages, giving patients far fewer options for treatment. These studies, as well as the 2008 United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that men stop PSA testing after the age of 75, have potential for harm if they are not explained clearly to patients or reviewed in the context of the full debate on PSA. It is the opinion of the AUA that the PSA test is a valuable screening tool that saves lives - and men with concerns about elevated PSA scores should consult their urologists about next steps.

These two studies do not clearly assert that PSA testing causes more harm than benefit. In one of the two studies, 52 percent of men in the "non-screened" arm had recent PSA tests, thus enriching the non-screened arm with men who had normal PSA levels and reducing the chance for prostate cancer death in this arm of the study. This me
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SOURCE American Urological Association
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