A new study reveals declines in prostate cancer screening and diagnoses in the United States in recent years, as well as decreases in the use of definitive treatments in men who have been diagnosed. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
There is considerable debate surrounding the value of prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and the 2012 United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation against PSA testing lies at the center of this debate. This recommendation was made in part due to the potential harms–such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence–associated with the treatment of clinically insignificant prostate cancer with radical prostatectomy or radiation.
To examine the use of diagnostics and treatments for prostate cancer in the years surrounding the USPSTF recommendation, James Kearns, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and his colleagues analyzed MarketScan claims, which capture more than 30 million privately insured patients in the United States. The team looked specifically at information related to PSA testing, prostate biopsy, prostate cancer diagnosis, and definitive local treatment in men aged 40-64 years for the years 2008-2014. Men under age 65
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