- Oct. 18, 2011 -
Minneapolis, Minnesota-Following the Annual Meeting of the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions held October 14-16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois, the group emphatically rejected the proposed “D” Prostate Cancer Recommendation of the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) stating that the recommendation does more harm than good.
The proposed Guideline of the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force would recommend the PSA blood test for prostate cancer only if the patient has prostate symptoms. However, by the time a patient has symptoms the disease is usually late-stage (advanced) and cannot be cured. The USPSTF's proposed "D" Recommendation AGAINST THE USE OF PSA "in healthy (asymptomatic)
men" is a misinterpretation of existing clinical trial data that would discourage men from asking for the PSA and excuse their physicians from failing to offer and discuss it with them. The National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (NASPCC) strongly endorses the use of PSA for men beginning at age 40 (35 if high-risk). It's the best test we currently have for prostate cancer and, in conjunction with a digital rectal examination it should be offered until more sensitive/specific biomarkers are approved by the FDA. NASPCC does not support unnecessary treatment; however, the USPSTF Recommendation would also prevent men with potentially deadly disease from learning their true diagnosis in time for curative care and might condemn them to a miserable death.
According to Merel Nissenberg, president of NASPCC, “Knowledge is power. Testing for and diagnosing prostate cancer does not have to lead to over-treatment;
men with clinically insignificant prostate cancer can select Active Surveillance, and those with aggressive cancer can be treated. When balancing the possible side effects of treatment against the saving of a life, most men would choose to live.”
For inquiries and questions contact
Merel G. Nissenberg-President, NASPCC
To learn more about the National Alliance Of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, please visit www.naspcc.org
To learn more about the Minnesota Prostate Cancer Coalition, please visit