DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the U.S.
“In the state of North Carolina, we have a higher rate of prostate cancer in African American men, we have a higher rate of prostate cancer in Hispanic men and in lower socio-economic men,” said Dr. Judd Moul, a urologic oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute.
And a new study out of the University of Southern California finds prostate cancer rates for men 45 and older are on the rise.
The increase coincides with a recommendation back in 2012 from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which recommended against routine prostate cancer screenings with PSA blood tests over concerns of overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
“At that time, this government authorized organization claimed that there was no value in the PSA screening for prostate cancer and even went as far as to say there was danger and they gave the PSA test a ‘D’ rating,” said Moul. “D means that there was more harm than good.”
Moul calls it a misguided recommendation.
In 2018, the USPSTF changed its guidance to a “C” rating.
This latest recommendation says the decision to be screened for prostate cancer between the ages of 55 and 69 should be an individual one, made only after talking with your doctor.
It also says men who are 70 and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely.
“In my opinion, the U.S. Preventive Task Force needs to change it to at least a ‘B’ but even an ‘A’ recommendation, to encourage men to get a PSA test and be screened for prostate cancer,” Dr. Moul said.
CBS 17 reached out to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for comment.
The USPSTF Vice-Chair Dr. Carol Mangione provided the following statement:
“Even one death from prostate cancer is a tragedy and we want to do everything we can to protect people’s health. The Task Force’s 2012 recommendation was based on the best evidence that was available a decade ago. At the time, the research showed that screening provided a small potential benefit with significant known harms.
“Since 2012, new evidence has emerged that increases our confidence in the benefits of screening men who are 55 to 69 years old for prostate cancer, which may include a reduced risk of both metastatic cancer and of dying from the disease.
“This evolution in the Task Force’s guidance reflects changes in the underlying evidence and in the way that prostate cancer diagnoses are managed. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers to affect men, however the decision about whether to be screened using PSA-based testing is complex. We now recommend that men discuss the benefits and harms of screening with their clinician, so they can make the best choice for themselves based on their values and individual circumstances.”