In a major break from the past, a leading medical group is advising men to think carefully before getting getting screened for prostate cancer.
The American Urological Association, which has staunchly defended the PSA screening test in recent years, says healthy men under 55 don't need routine annual screening. And men ages 55 to 69 who are considering the PSA should consult their doctors about the test's benefits and risks, according to a new policy announced Friday. Until now, the group had advised healthy men ages 40 and up to ask their doctors about the PSA.
Authors of the new guidelines "learned very quickly that there really was no high-level evidence supporting the use of screening with PSA," says urologist H. Ballentine Carter, who chaired the panel that wrote the new guidelines.
Given the limited benefits of the PSA, and the risks from cancer treatment, the urology group doesn't recommend PSA screening for men 70 and older who are expected to live less than 10 to 15 more years.
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