December 8, 2015

Decreased Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening and Rate of Diagnosis in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

By Matthew Stenger
Key Points:

  • The frequency of PSA screening has declined significantly in men aged 50 to 74 years and nonsignificantly in those aged ≥ 75 years.
  • The incidence of prostate cancer significantly declined between 2011 and 2012.

Recent data indicated that the rates of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening and diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer have decreased since a 2012 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) statement (released in October 2011) gave a grade D recommendation against PSA screening for all men. As reported by Sammon et al in a research letter in JAMA, the screening rate has not significantly decreased in men aged ≥ 75 years, despite the 2012 recommendations and a 2008 USPSTF recommendation against PSA screening in this age group. As reported by Jemal et al in JAMA, the incidence of prostate cancer in men aged ≥ 50 years decreased by 16% between 2011 and 2012.

Study of Screening Patterns

In the study by Sammon et al, the prevalence of PSA screening was determined from data from 20,757 men in the 2000 (n = 4,698), 2005 (n = 5,111), 2010 (n = 4,598), and 2013 (n = 6,350) National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). Men aged ≥ 50 years who reported PSA testing within the 12 months preceding each survey were considered to have undergone screening


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