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Prostate Cancer Roundtable Expresses Concern over Federal Recommendations Impeding Access to the PSA, a Key Cancer Screening Test
Date:10/31/2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Prostate Cancer Roundtable issued a statement today expressing deep concern over U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendations that would impede men's access to a lifesaving cancer screening test most particularly for high risk men. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a vital tool in the early detection of prostate cancer and the USPSTF recommendations would systematically undermine coverage of the test through health plans.

This month, the USPSTF released draft recommendations which would downgrade the PSA test grade to "D", recommending against the use of PSA testing in healthy men that "do not have symptoms that are highly suspicious of prostate cancer."  This grade change alone will undermine access to the PSA test, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires group and individual health plans to cover without cost-sharing only those preventive services rated A and B by the USPSTF.

"The Task Force failed to address the benefits of screenings for groups of men well known to be at high risk, including African-Americans, Veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange, and men with a family history of prostate cancer," Added Thomas Farrington, President of the Prostate Health Education Network. "The draft recommendations ignore the situations faced by a significant number of men in these groups who are at the highest risk for the disease and face additional risk of dying from prostate cancer if not treated early."

"Since the PSA test was introduced in the mid-1990's mortality from prostate cancer has dropped by 40 percent," stated National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions President Merel Nissenberg. "Because of this, 90 percent of prostate cancers are found before they spread. Finding prostate cancer early moves the survival rate from 29 percent to nearly 100 percent."

Research by the National Cancer Institute's Cancer M
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SOURCE Prostate Cancer Roundtable
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