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Prostate specific antigen screening declines after 2012 USPSTF recommendations
Date:3/13/2014

. "These effects were more immediate and pronounced in the urban/academic setting, and more gradual in suburban and rural settings. Decreased prostate cancer screening was observed across all specialties over time, with, interestingly, the greatest impact seen among urologists."

The researchers explain that because for urologists, prostate cancer is a focal point of their day-to-day practice, the changes in PSA screening behavior may have been more rapidly acknowledged. Primary care physician offices manage a broad range of medical topics with varied screening policies and thus there may be a delay in the implementation of new policies. Also, PSA screening policy may not quickly circulate through rural and suburban areas compared to urban/academic practices.

While there is a perceived benefit by some doctors and patients for routine PSA screening, for most men who have an average risk of prostate cancer, an early diagnosis and subsequent aggressive treatment may lead to decreased quality of life. Currently the medical community remains divided on the merits of PSA testing for everyone. "Clinical practice guidelines for prostate cancer screening vary and are controversial due to uncertainty as to whether the benefits of screening ultimately outweigh the risks of over diagnosis and overtreatment," concludes Dr. Abouassaly. "Further study will be needed to determine the long-term effects of these recommendations on screening, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of this prevalent malignancy."


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Contact: Linda Gruner
jumedia@elsevier.com
212-633-3923
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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