ZERO's Response to USPSTF PSA Testing Recommendations
What is the USPSTF Recommending for PSA Testing?
The US Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel appointed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, has announced its recommendation to change early detection of prostate cancer from an I – inconclusive – to a D – a recommendation discouraging men, regardless of their background, to be tested for prostate cancer.
What is ZERO's Position on this Recommendation?
ZERO believes that EVERY man has the right to make decisions about his health and his body. To deny a man information because it may lead to difficult decisions compromises a man’s independence and self-determination. No entity should stand between a man and his ability to get potentially lifesaving information.
ZERO believes that a man has the freedom and responsibility to choose if and when to get tested for prostate cancer, what to do with the information that he receives and whether or not he will proceed with treatment.
ZERO believes that men have a responsibility to become better participants in their own healthcare and they must confer and consult with their physicians and families, make use of health educational materials and opportunities and become active healthcare consumers to protect their own interests.
ZERO bases its position on prostate cancer early detection on the recommendations of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a not-for-profit alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers. Each year NCCN member cancer centers, represented by some of the top minds in prostate cancer, come together to evaluate the prostate cancer early detection guidelines to assure that they reflect the latest scientific findings and best possible care for patients.
Help Save the PSA Test
The period for public comment on the USPSTF recommendations has been reopened due to technological errors which caused the USPSTF to lose some comments. We strongly encourage you to comment on the recommendation, write to your elected officials and submit letters to the editor at your local newspaper. Make sure your voice is heard and help us protect the PSA test!
Importance of Early Detection and the PSA Test
ZERO believes that the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is not perfect BUT it is the only effective means currently available to provide an early warning of potentially lethal prostate cancer. The PSA test and advances in treatment have led to a 40 percent reduction in prostate cancer deaths since the mid-1990s, and 90 percent of all prostate cancers are now discovered before they spread outside the gland. The survival rate is nearly 100 percent when prostate cancer is detected early, while the tumor is still localized and hasn’t spread.
ZERO believes that finding a new, highly accurate prostate cancer test should be a top research priority. We are encouraged and excited by recent advances in early detection technology but none of these improvements will be available to men until clinical trials are complete, regulatory measures are satisfied and able to reach all men at risk. During the last 15 years, ZERO has secured more than $2 billion in research from the federal government. These investments have brought new compounds for advanced prostate cancer, improved treatments and groundbreaking research into the different types of prostate cancer and ways to differentiate between lethal and lazy prostate cancer. However, there is still much to be done to solve the challenges of this disease (33,720 men will lose their lives to the disease in 2011) and we must continue to advocate to ensure federal investments in finding a cure for prostate cancer are robust.
ZERO believes that many men choose to be “underserved” by the healthcare system by not participating. We also believe that many men do not participate in appropriate healthcare because they do not have access. To that end, ZERO operates the Drive Against Prostate Cancer mobile testing units. These 40 ft. mobile physician’s offices are designed for “man-centric” healthcare by meeting men where they shop, worship, work and play. The Drive program is designed to raise awareness, educate and let men access prostate-specific healthcare. For many men participating in the Drive program is their first visit to a physician in many years. Our work does not simply identify prostate cancer, it finds enlarged prostates, prostatitis and host of other conditions that may degrade a man’s quality of life.
ZERO bases its position on prostate cancer early detection on the recommendations of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a not-for-profit alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers. Each year NCCN member cancer centers, represented by some of the top minds in prostate cancer, come together to evaluate the prostate cancer early detection guidelines to assure that they reflect the latest scientific findings and best possible care for patients. The Prostate Cancer Early Detection Guidelines may be downloaded here:NCCN Prostate Cancer Early Detection Guidelines
To review additional PSA test research, including the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) study and subsequent analyses, that showed as much as a 70 percent reduction in the prostate cancer death rate and as much as a 90 percent reduction in the number of advanced prostate cancer cases, download our PSA media kit.