(HealthDay News) — Prostate-specific antigen screening has decreased since publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations against screening, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

Afshin Aslani, MD, MPH, from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the impact of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against prostate cancer screening. Data were obtained on all screening prostate-specific antigen tests performed from January 2008–December 2012 at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and affiliated hospitals in northeastern Ohio.

The researchers found that 43,498 screening prostate-specific antigen tests were performed during the time period. Internal medicine specialists ordered most tests (64.9%), as well as family medicine, urology, and hematology/oncology specialists (23.7, 6.1, and 1.3%, respectively). There was an increase in prostate-specific antigen screening with time until publication of initial screening trials in March 2009. After the task force recommendations, there was a significant and dramatic decrease in prostate-specific antigen testing. In almost all subgroups, similar patterns were noted. Declines in screening were greatest at the urban teaching hospital, by urologists, and for patients aged 50–59 years.

“U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations appeared to have decreased prostate cancer screening,” the authors write. “Further study is needed to determine the long-term effects of these recommendations on the screening, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of this prevalent malignancy.”

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