Los Angeles, May 10, 2018 - The National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (NASPCC) commends the small steps taken this week by the United States Preventive Services Task Force in changing their “D” Recommendation (Do Not Screen) to a “C” Recommendation (offering or providing screening to individual patients based on professional judgment and patient preferences) for men 55-69. But the USPSTF kept the “D” Recommendation in place for men 70 and over, and did not recommend or even mention screening in men younger than 55.
NASPCC is gratified for the small steps taken but disappointed on behalf of patients and as-yet undiagnosed prostate cancer patients, because after waiting 6 years since the last USPSTF Final Recommendations (“D” for all men) only a small change was made and only for a narrow group of men. NASPCC is disappointed that the USPSTF recommends against testing men 70 and over. In actuality, men 70 and over who are healthy and have at least a 10-year life expectancy, are appropriate candidates to be offered testing. Also, NASPCC advocates for the early detection of potentially lethal prostate cancer and calls for a baseline PSA starting at age 40. Waiting for a man to reach the age of 55 will miss many potentially aggressive and deadly cancers that will no longer have a chance for cure, and will increase morbidity and mortality among these patients, while increasing the number of men who are advanced at time of diagnosis or who will more likely progress to metastasis. Additionally, the Recommendations do not contain specific screening guidelines for earlier testing of African-American men nor of men with a family history of the disease. And the USPSTF does not even mention men with exposure to Agent Orange who have an elevated risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
The National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions is a nation-wide 501(c)(3) organization comprised of state prostate cancer coalitions dedicated to saving men’s lives and enhancing the quality of life of prostate cancer patients and their families, through awareness and education and the development of a public policy network.