PHEN Supports the New Prostate Cancer PSA Screening Recommendation
Applauds Call for a National Priority to Address African American Needs
For Immediate Release, April 11, 2017…The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) strongly supports the action of the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force in updating its prostate cancer PSA screening recommendation to a “Grade C.” This draft recommendation reverses the Task Force's 2012 Grade D recommendation against PSA screening for all men, to a recommendation for offering PSA screening to individual patients based on professional judgement and patient preferences.
Additionally, PHEN joins with the Task Force in calling for a “national priority” to gather the necessary data to establish an evidenced-based recommended age to begin PSA screening for African American men. “Black men are at the highest risk for being diagnosed with and dying from prostate cancer,” noted Thomas A. Farrington, PHEN President and Founder. “Age 55 within the new recommendation is based on evidence for average-risk men,” he added. “Accordingly, PHEN will continue educating black men about the benefits and risks of early detection screening and using its 2013 Consensus Statement to recommend age 40 as the appropriate time to consider PSA screening for this population.”
“Under the leadership of current Chairperson, Dr. Kirstin Bibbins-Domingo, the Task Force broadened its research and analysis efforts to include data and inputs from stakeholders and medical experts in order to make a recommendation that is consistent with the scientific evidence and the real-life prostate health needs of men. This is a welcomed approach and a refreshing change from 2012,” Farrington added.
The African American evidence gap cited by the Task Force not only exists for PSA screening but also for new prostate cancer treatment therapies. It is widely known and accepted that the solution for bridging both gaps is to increase African American participation in clinical trials. PHEN’s position is that a national priority to address this area is long overdue. Success will provide knowledge to help reduce the African American prostate cancer disparity, and it will also accelerate the fight against this disease for all men.
About The Prostate Health Education Network, Inc. (PHEN)
PHEN was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington a prostate cancer survivor. It is the leading prostate cancer patient education and advocacy organization focusing on the needs of African Americans with education, awareness and support initiatives nationwide. Farrington, a key opinion leader in the fight against prostate cancer, is a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Board of Trustees, and serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Prostate Cancer Treatments Guidelines Panel and the NCCN Prostate Cancer Early Detection Guidelines Panel.