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August 2018

USPTF Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendations—A Step in the Right Direction

Author Affiliations
  • 1UCSF–Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(8):701-702. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.1283

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is the most widely regarded source for information on US cancer screening. In 2012, the USPSTF gave prostate cancer screening a grade “D” recommendation, essentially guiding physicians and patients to discourage prostate cancer early detection.1 This recommendation may have had an adverse effect on prostate cancer incidence rates across risk groups, including potentially lethal cancers, and was widely decried by specialty and advocacy groups.2 The grade D recommendation was based on what is now known to be an incorrect interpretation of the clinical evidence supporting screening at the time and legitimate concerns about cancer overdetection and overtreatment (the detection and treatment of indolent cancers that would not have been a problem if left undiagnosed and untreated).

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