Washington, DC, December 20, 2013 – Following group discussion at its meeting in Washington, DC, on December 9, the Prostate Cancer Roundtable has agreed to endorse a statement developed by the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), a founding member of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable, on the role of PSA testing in the early detection of prostate cancer among men acknowledged to be at elevated risk (as compared to the average 50- to 65-year-old Caucasian American). Such men are known to include African Americans, men with a significant family history of prostate cancer, men exposed to the defoliating agent known as Agent Orange, and men with an above-average baseline PSA level taken in their 40s.
The “PHEN consensus statement on PSA testing for African American men for the early detection of prostate cancer” was developed with the assistance and approval of more than 20 specialists in the detection and management of prostate cancer and includes three core directives:
Consensus Statement 1: Baseline PSA testing for African Americans and other men deemed to be at high risk for prostate cancer is suggested beginning at age 40 for predicting their future risk of prostate cancer.
Consensus Statement 2: PSA testing should not be considered on its own, but rather as a part of a multivarable approach to early prostate cancer detection.
Consensus Statement 3: A prostate cancer diagnosis must be uncoupled from prostate cancer intervention.
“As noted in the full text of this consensus statement, we currently have no specific scientific evidence for or against the value of PSA testing as a method to ensure the early detection of prostate cancer in high-risk men,” stated Wendy Poage, President of the Prostate Conditions Education Council. “The PHEN document is therefore based on expert opinion. However, it is clear that African Americans and others — and the physicians responsible for their care — need some strong guidance about early detection if they are to limit risk for serious, clinically significant forms of prostate cancer among men already known to be at high risk.”
“Recent guidelines and recommendations regarding regular screening for risk of prostate cancer have become increasingly divisive and confusing for many men,” said Mike Scott, a co-founder of Prostate Cancer International. “This PHEN-developed document helps us to distinguish with care between the critical role of early detection of potentially clinically significant prostate cancer in men known to be at high risk and the role of mass, population-based ‘screening’ of all men in selected age groups. It also addresses the important issue of a conservative approach to the management of low-risk prostate cancer in appropriately identified individuals — thus limiting risk for inappropriate over-treatment of low-risk disease.”
“The Prostate Cancer Foundation gives this statement our full and complete support,” said Jonathon Simons, MD, PCF’s president and chief executive officer. “Both I and Stuart Holden, MD, the foundation’s medical director, have asked to be added to the list of prostate cancer specialists who have given their personal backing to this document. We want patients to be informed and educated on this issue.”
Tom Farrington, founder and president of the Prostate Health Education Network, acknowledged his personal gratification that the Prostate Cancer Roundtable was willing to endorse this consensus statement: “We are delighted that the other members of the Roundtable are willing to stand behind this set of principles. This is an important issue for all men at high risk for prostate cancer and for the African American community in particular. We all recognize that the PSA test is far from ideal as a method for identifying risk for prostate cancer, but it is an easy, cost-effective test that is widely available now and that can help men to recognize and manage their personal risk in concert with their doctors.”
About the Prostate Cancer Roundtable:
The Prostate Cancer Roundtable, representing America’s prostate cancer community, is a group of independent, patient-centric, not-for-profit organizations that cooperate to foster the development of policies supporting high quality prostate cancer research, the prevention and early detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, the appropriate care and effective treatment of men with prostate cancer, and the appropriate education of all men at risk for this disease.
The following members of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable support this statement:
• Ed Randall’s Fans for the Cure (www.fans4thecure.org)
• Malecare Prostate Cancer Support (www.malecare.org)
• Men’s Health Network (www.menshealthnetwork.org)
• National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (www.naspcc.org)
• Prostate Cancer International (www.pcainternational.org)
• Prostate Conditions Education Council (www.prostateconditions.org)
• Prostate Health Education Network (www.prostatehealthed.org)
• The Prostate Net (www.prostatenet.org)
• Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network (www.ustoo.org)
• Women Against Prostate Cancer (www.womenagainstprostatecancer.org)
• ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer (www.zerocancer.org)