New advice on prostate cancer screening
For men, prostate cancer is one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer.
And yet, for the past five years, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised against routine screening for middle-age men.
The influential federal panel decided in 2012 that the potential harm from having the PSA blood test far outweighed the possible benefits.
This week, after analyzing new research, the task force revised its recommendations. The proposed new guidelines advise men 55 to 69 to talk to their doctors about whether to have the PSA blood test.
"They're saying that men who are really concerned about prostate cancer should get screened and men who are less concerned, perhaps ought not to get screened,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Brawley points out that the PSA test is not perfect and not always accurate. That's why you need to talk to your doctor about the pros and cons for you.
"People need to make a decision about screening and not just automatically go and get the test,” he said.
The task force still advises against screening once men reach the age of 70. That’s when the potential harm outweighs benefits.