Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. The USPSTF conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the "gold standard" for clinical preventive services.
The USPSTF does not recommend for or against routine screening of men younger than age 75. The USPSTF's recommendation to health care providers is that a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test should not be ordered without first discussing the potential benefits and known harms of prostate cancer screening and treatment with the patient as part of an informed decision-making process.
The USPSTF recommends that men over the age of 75 not be screened for prostate cancer. In reaching this conclusion, the panel found sufficient evidence that the harms of screening and subsequent treatment outweighed any potential benefits to men in this age group.
More information about screening guidelines can be found on-line at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf08/prostate/prostatesum.pdf and http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspsprca.htm#summary.