US groups defend need for prostate screening

October 7, 2011 03:21

CHICAGO - Reports that an influential group of US advisers plans to recommend against routine screening of prostate cancer has drawn criticism from health groups worried the move will increase cancer deaths in men.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that the US Preventive Services Task Force, the same group that recommended doctors scale back on mammograms for women, is thinking of recommending against use of the prostate-specific antigen or PSA test.

The Times and other news outlets said the task force, an independent panel appointed by the federal government, plans to give a common blood test known as the PSA test a rating of "D," suggesting there is moderate or high certainty that the test has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits.

Current recommendations say there is insufficient evidence to support the use of the test.

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