A new report published in JAMA provides some really big news on prostate cancer.
A recent study has come to the groundbreaking conclusion that simply getting screening advice can cause prostate surgery rates to fall dramatically. The study found that fewer U.S. men got prostate biopsies and surgery after new recommendations indicated they shouldn’t opt for a procedure in routine prostate cancer screening.
There had been some major questions about whether screening the general population of men for prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death for men, is actually helping them or doing harm overall. This new study finds that new guidelines have cut back on unnecessary procedures, a promising step forward, according to a JAMA Network Journals statement.
But there’s still concern that men who have cancer are slipping through the cracks and that these new recommendations may be overly strict and dissuasive toward men against having a procedure when maybe they should. Prostate cancer is found in 240,000 men in the United States every single year, and it kills 27,000 per year.
“These findings represent the direct downstream effects of the USPSTF recommendation. While the pendulum of prostate cancer screening continues to swing, a more extended vantage point is needed to evaluate the long-term consequences of the 2012 USPSTF recommendation with regard to stage at presentation, outcomes following treatment, and disease-specific mortality in prostate cancer. Because revision of the USPSTF recommendation is in progress, policy makers should weigh the downstream effects of the 2012 USPSTF recommendation and consider future unintended consequences,” the authors write.