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Invited Commentary
February 2017

Trends in Prostate Cancer Screening Following Changes Made by the US Preventive Services Task Force: Are We Turning Back the Clock?

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Department of Urology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2The Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(2):198. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.3999

In 2012, the US Preventive Services Task Force changed their recommendation for routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in men younger than 75 years from a grade C recommendation to a grade D, recommending against this practice. Although this recommendation was made with an intent to avoid unnecessary diagnosis of indolent prostate cancers, many urologists and other health care practitioners are expressing concern that this recommendation sets back the advancements in prostate cancer detection, treatment, and survival rates made in the last several decades. Halpern et al1 address this concern by showing some of the downstream effects of this screening change: the median rates of prostate biopsies and radical prostatectomies performed have decreased significantly since 2012.1