Task force's PSA recommendation opposed by legislation

February 1, 2012

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation opposing an October 2011 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendation that healthy men should no longer receive PSA tests as part of routine cancer screening.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation opposing an October 2011 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendation that healthy men should no longer receive PSA tests as part of routine cancer screening.

The resolution, promoted by the New Jersey Patient Care and Access Coalition (NJPCAC), drew immediate praise from the AUA.

The legislative resolution was passed unanimously by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on Jan. 9. The legislation is "memorializing the Congress of the United States to seek the withdrawal of the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against prostate-specific antigen-based screening for prostate cancer for men in all age groups."

"New Jersey demonstrated remarkable leadership by taking swift and decisive action to oppose this dangerous recommendation," said David Taylor, MD, chairman of the board of NJPCAC and president of Garden State Urology in Morristown, NJ. "Hopefully, this will send a loud and clear message to Washington that this flawed recommendation should not stand."

In a statement, the AUA applauded the legislation.

"Other states should take notice of New Jersey’s impressive and decisive stand against the USPSTF recommendations and the positive step forward in ensuring coverage of the PSA test for men in New Jersey. AUA encourages other states to do likewise," said AUA Health Policy Vice Chair David F. Penson, MD, MPH.

The AUA said it continues to be concerned that the USPSTF’s recommendations will ultimately do more harm than good to the many men at risk for prostate cancer.

"A man’s decision to be tested for prostate cancer is a personal one that he should talk over with his doctor," said AUA President Sushil S. Lacy, MD. "Not all prostate cancers require active treatment and not all prostate cancers are life threatening, but the bottom line is that we cannot manage any cancer if we don’t know it’s there."

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