Benefits of PSA Test for Prostate Cancer Substantially Greater than Generally Appreciated

The benefits of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen men for prostate cancer may be greater than the harm, say investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

While organizations such as the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Family Physicians have been lukewarm or opposed to the routine use of the PSA test, in a commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the investigators demonstrate that these recommendations are based on problematic estimates of the benefits and harms of screening. They argue that the evidence suggests more widespread screening will reduce deaths and help men avoid debilitating metastatic disease.

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