Recommendation Will Turn Back 20 Years of Prostate Cancer Efforts

~Physicians disagree with government task force~

Oct 12, 2011, 08:05 ET from Florida Alliance for Patient Care and Access

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida Alliance for Patient Care and Access (FAPCA), representing nearly 200 physicians who treat more than 250,000 patients annually across Florida, encourages men to continue following current recommendations for prostate cancer screening.

Last week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended healthy men should no longer receive prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests as part of routine cancer screening.

This panel does not include urologists or oncologists, and 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.

The Goteborg Randomized Population-based Prostate Cancer Screening Trial, printed in The Lancet Oncology in 2010, found PSA screening cuts by almost half the number of lives lost to prostate cancer. This study found deaths from prostate cancer dropped 44 percent among screened men over a 14-year period, when compared with other men who did not undergo screening, and that prostate cancer screening efficiency is similar to screening for other cancers.

"PSA testing is a critical prostate cancer screening tool," said Dr. Neal Dunn, FAPCA President and President of Panama City Urological Center in Panama City, Fla. "The recommendation from the task force will affect those most at risk, including men with a family history of prostate cancer, African-American men, the underinsured, and those in rural areas where health care is not readily available."

The same task force also 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.

FAPCA supports current recommendations endorsing PSA screening for well-informed men who wish to pursue early diagnosis.

FAPCA encourages all concerned citizens to contact policymakers to demand the government not restrict access to this life-saving testing.

About Florida Alliance for Patient Care and Access

Florida Alliance for Patient Care and Access (FAPCA) is a statewide association of independent medical group practices that bring together urologists, pathologists and radiation oncologists in a team approach to diagnose and treat disorders of the genitourinary system.

SOURCE Florida Alliance for Patient Care and Access