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Association urges men to speak with their physicians about the value of prostate cancer testing

LINTHICUM, MD, October 7, 2011–The American Urological Association (AUA) today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendations on the use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The statement is attributed to AUA President Sushil S. Lacy, MD:

The American Urological Association (AUA) applauds the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for its interest in reviewing the use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. However, we are concerned that the Task Force’s recommendations will ultimately do more harm than good to the many men at risk for prostate cancer both here in the United States and around the world. The AUA’s current clinical recommendations support the use of the PSA test, and it is our feeling that, when interpreted appropriately, the PSA test provides important information in the diagnosis, pre-treatment staging or risk assessment and monitoring of prostate cancer patients. 

Not all prostate cancers require active treatment and not all prostate cancers are life threatening. The decision to proceed to active treatment is one that men should discuss in detail with their urologists to determine whether active treatment is necessary, or whether surveillance may be an option for their prostate cancer.

The AUA is currently preparing a new clinical guideline on this topic, and has convened a panel of experts to review not only the use of the PSA test, but also early detection of prostate cancer overall, taking into account the new tests and diagnostics that are becoming available. Until there is a better widespread test for this potentially devastating disease, the USPSTF – by disparaging the test – is doing a great disservice to the men worldwide who may benefit from the PSA test.

For more information about the AUA’s position on the early detection of prostate cancer, or to arrange an interview with an expert urologist, please contact the AUA Communications Office at 410-689-3932.

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 18,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients.

Wendy Waldsachs Isett, AUA