PCPC3 acknowledges modifications to USPSTF research plan on PSA screening

PCPC3 and its members are pleased to note the numerous modifications made by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to their initial research plan designed to underpin a re-review of the value and appropriateness of PSA screening for risk of prostate cancer. The revised and final research plan is available on the USPSTF web site.

Among the modifications noted are the following:

  • Differentiation between the types of risk associated with
    • The PSA test itself
    • Subsequent biopsies (when needed and administered)
    • Consequent treatments of differing types
  • Recognition of the existence of definable groups of men who are known to be at higher risk levels for ethnic, genetic, and other possible reasons (e.g., African Americans and men exposed to Agent Orange)
  • Recognition that differing forms of management may have very different categories of risk associated with those management options
  • The need for evaluation of the utility of prostate cancer risk calculators and other possible tools in the assessment of risk for individual patients

Although there are certainly places where some members of PCPC3 (and probably others too) believe that the USPSTF could have gone further, there is general consensus within the group about the quality of the improvements that have been integrated into the revised research plan.

This new plan will be used as the guide for a systematic review of the available evidence by an established and independent “evidence-based practice” research center. The resulting evidence review will then be used by the USPSTF as the basis for a new USPSTF set of recommendations on this topic.

Several individual members of PCPC3 contributed formal and detailed comments to the USPSTF on the original research plan, and some members of PCPC3 have already commented individually on the revisions to this plan.

PCPC3 recognizes that the value of the PSA test in screening for prostate cancer has been a controversial issue for many years. However, as we have stated previously, there is no doubt whatsoever that, at this time, the PSA test remains a low-cost and simple blood test that offers concerned men and their families initial and valuable information about their possible risk for diagnosis with the commonest form of cancer found among men in America.

About PCPC3

PCPC3 — the patient-centered prostate cancer collaborative coalition — is a group of independent, not-for-profit, patient-centric organizations whose primary goals include the education and support of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, their family members and care-givers, and all men at risk for prostate cancer. For more information about PCPC3, please see the PCPC3 web site.

PCPC3 statements must be approved by 66% or more of the full members of the organization before they are placed on our web site. The statement above has been approved by the following members of PCPC3:

  • Malecare
  • Prostate Advocates Aiding Choices in Treatments (PAACT)
  • Prostate Cancer International (PCaI)
  • The Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC)
  • The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN)
  • Us TOO International

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