Grade: D Recommendation.
This recommendation applies to men in the general U.S. population, regardless of age. This recommendation does not include the use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for surveillance after diagnosis or treatment of prostate cancer; the use of the PSA test for this indication is outside the scope of the USPSTF.
Prostate cancer is a serious health problem that affects thousands of men and their families. But before getting a PSA test, all men deserve to know what the science tells us about PSA screening: there is a very small potential benefit and significant potential harms. We encourage clinicians to consider this evidence and not screen their patients with a PSA test unless the individual being screened understands what is known about PSA screening and makes the personal decision that even a small possibility of benefit outweighs the known risk of harms.
USPSTF Co-Chair Michael LeFevre, M.D., M.S.P.H.
May 22, 2012
In October 2011, the USPSTF posted for public comment the draft of its recommendation regarding prostate cancer screening. Since then, Task Force members have read the many comments received and reviewed the most up-to-date evidence.
Based on this work, the Task Force concludes that many men are harmed as a result of prostate cancer screening and few, if any, benefit.
A better test and better treatment options are needed. Until these are available, the USPSTF has recommended against screening for prostate cancer.
The members of the USPSTF face the same concerns and fears about health challenges as other people. This decision was reached only after extensive consideration and thoughtful debate. It is based on science and rooted in the knowledge that while everyone wants to help prevent deaths from prostate cancer, current methods of PSA screening and treatment of screen-detected cancer are not the answer