Navigation Links
Task Force Says Men Age 75 and Older Should Not Be Screened For Prostate Cancer


/ADVANCE/ ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 4 -- Men age 75 and older should not be screened for prostate cancer, and younger men should discuss the benefits and harms of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test with their clinicians before being tested, according to a new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendation and accompanying evidence summary appear in the August 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Task Force found evidence that screening for prostate cancer provided few health benefits but led to substantial physical harms and some psychological harms in men age 75 and older. In men younger than 75, the Task Force concluded that current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening. An estimated 218,890 U.S. men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, and one in six men will be diagnosed in his lifetime.

Screening for prostate cancer is most often performed using PSA tests and digital rectal exams. The PSA test is more likely to detect prostate cancer than the digital rectal exam. However, prostate cancers that are found with a PSA test take years to affect health; most prostate cancers that grow serious enough to cause death take more than 10 years to do so. Since a 75-year-old man has an average life expectancy of about 10 years and is more likely to die from other causes such as heart disease or stroke, prostate cancer screening is unlikely to help men over 75 live longer.

For the same reasons, men younger than 75 with chronic medical problems and a life expectancy of fewer than 10 years are also unlikely to benefit from screening. There are also harms associated with prostate cancer screening, which include biopsies, unnecessary treatment and false-positive results that may lead to anxiety. Complications often result from treating prostate cancer and may include urinary incontinence and impotence. These slow-growing cancers may never have affected a patient's health or well-being had they not been detected by screening.

"Because many prostate cancers grow slowly, early detection may not benefit a patient's health and in some cases may even cause harm," said Task Force Chair Ned Calonge, M.D., M.P.H., who is also chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "We encourage men younger than 75 to discuss with their clinicians the potential -- but uncertain -- benefits and the possible harms of getting the PSA test before they decide to be screened."

Current data show that one-third of all men in the United States over 75 are receiving PSA testing. Although most major medical organizations suggest that prostate cancer screening may be discontinued in men with a life expectancy of fewer than 10 years, the Task Force is the first group to define an explicit age cutoff above which screening is likely to be ineffective or harmful. The results of two ongoing clinical trials -- the National Cancer Institute's Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and the European Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer -- should help to clarify the potential benefits of screening in men under the age of 75.

The Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

Once the embargo lifts at 5:00 p.m. EDT on August 4, the recommendations and materials for clinicians will be available on the AHRQ Web site at Previous Task Force recommendations, summaries of the evidence, and related materials are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by calling (800) 358-9295 or sending an e-mail to Clinical information is also available from AHRQ's National Guideline Clearinghouse at

Note to Editors: For men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, AHRQ has two new plain-language guides that compare the effectiveness and risks of prostate cancer treatments. More information about the guides is available at

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- July 29/

SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Secretary Reinforces VAs Commitment to Research Safety and Veteran Focus
2. Task Force Recommends Screening for Hearing Loss in All Newborns
3. Stereotaxis Market Leadership Reinforced in Core Curriculum and Symposium Presentations at Heart Rhythm 2008
4. Multiple Studies Presented at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Reinforce Clinical Utility of Oncotype DX(R)
5. MJFF and Merck Serono (EMD Serono in North America) Join Forces on $2-Million Initiative to Drive Treatments for PD-Related Cognitive Dysfunction and Mood Disorders
6. Concentra Medical Centers Gears Up for Flu Season to Keep Area Workforce Healthy
7. Mitchell, Military TBI Task Force Highlight the Importance of Traumatic Brain Injury Research; Mitchell Endorses Ground Breaking Traumatic Brain Injury Study
8. Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp. Announces Approval of Proposed Actions at Annual Shareholders Meeting
9. Preliminary Analyses from Phase 2 Genzyme Study Highlight Efficacy and Safety of Clofarabine in Older Adult AML Patients
10. Shareholder Class Action Filed Against Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated by the Law Firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves ORENCIA(R) (abatacept) for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) in Patients Six Years and Older
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- Families across the country have filed product ... pharmaceutical company,s blockbuster anti-nausea drug Zofran and congenital ... their fraudulent misrepresentations to prescribing physicians about the ...   Due to the large number of Zofran birth ... Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has ordered that ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 13, 2015 ... field of vascular medicine and intervention through education and ... its annual conference,  VIVA 2015 . Sixteen trial results, ... be released for the first time on Monday and ... Vegas. --> --> ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015   Generational Equity , ... businesses, is pleased to announce the acquisition of its ... Largo, Florida , by Meridian Biomedical, ... September 11, 2015. Florida ... --> Florida . To learn more, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – ... serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives ... Commitment to Cure last night at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health Partners , the ... as well as pioneering the way for high schools, colleges and universities to ... Levitt as Chief Financial Officer. Levitt brings over 20 years of financial experience ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... The added calories and sugar in ... So what is a parent to do? Registered dietitians from Retrofit , the ... this time of year. , “Halloween is a high-calorie holiday,” said Dara Aronow, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... The American Institutes for Research ... health staff caring for students who have experienced sexual assault and other trauma. The ... House during the Violence Against Women Act's 21st anniversary. , AIR ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... CURE Media Group, the nation’s leading digital ... with the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) to expand education and ... physicians. , “Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia is a so-called ‘orphan disease’ that typically does ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):