TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA), representing more than 1,800 urologists, encourages men to speak out to preserve prostate cancer screenings. Last week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended healthy men should no longer receive prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests as part of routine cancer screening.
This decision is being made by a panel that does not include urologists or oncologists. No new research has been cited that would call for this drastic change in prostate cancer testing recommendations since the USPSTF considered this issue in 2009.
In fact, newer studies found deaths from prostate cancer dropped 44 percent among screened men over a 14-year period, when compared with unscreened men, and found screening efficiency for prostate cancer similar to other cancers.
This same task force suggested mammograms were unnecessary for women ages 40-49 and recommended against teaching women breast self exams, which was soundly rejected by Congress after public outcry.
These recommendations jeopardize the health of countless Americans and needlessly puts in harm's way the men who are most at risk: those who are underinsured, live in rural areas (where health care is not readily available), have a family history of prostate cancer, and particularly African-Americans (who have the highest incidence of and death rates from prostate cancer). LUGPA supports current recommendations endorsing PSA screening for well-informed men who wish to pursue early diagnosis.
"The government has failed to safeguard our nation's health," said Dr. Concepcion, LUGPA President and Director of Clinical Research at Urology Associates, P.C. in Nashville. "Early detection is critical to the success of prostate cancer treatments and these recommendations risk undoing 20 years of progress in reducing deaths from prostate cancer. Even now, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men."
LUGPA encourages all concerned citizens to contact policymakers to demand the government not restrict access to this life-saving testing.
LUGPA represents 95 large urology group practices in the United States, with more than 1,800 physicians who make up more than 20 percent of the nation's practicing urologists. LUGPA and its member practices are committed to best practices, research, data collection, and benchmarking to promote quality clinical outcomes. Visit http://lugpa.org/default.aspx for more information about LUGPA.
SOURCE Large Urology Group Practice Association