ASCO has issued a new evidence-based provisional clinical opinion (PCO) on the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer screening. To facilitate informed decisions, ASCO also released a new, detailed decision aid to help men and their physicians understand the risks and benefits of screening, and decide if PSA testing is the appropriate choice.
The PCO recommends that physicians discuss the benefits and risks of PSA testing with their asymptomatic male patients who have life expectancies of greater than 10 years, but states that the risks likely outweigh the benefits for men with shorter life expectancies. The benefits include the identification of higher-risk prostate cancer earlier, when treatment may be more effective, while the risks include overdiagnosis, unnecessary biopsy and treatment, and treatment side effects.
This guidance differs from recommendations issued in May 2012 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer.
Specifically, the PCO recommends the following:
The decision aid and the guideline are available at www.asco.org/pco/psa. ■
© 2012. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.