Both the incidence of early stage prostate cancer and rates of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening have declined and coincide with the 2012 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation that omitted PSA screening from routine primary care for men, a new study published in JAMA has shown.1

After the USPSTF recommended against PSA-based screening in men age 75 years or older in 2008, the incidence of prostate cancer in this age group declined. In 2012, the USPSTF recommended to omit PSA-based screening for average-risk men. Therefore, researchers sought to examine recent changes in stage-specific prostate cancer incidence and PSA screening rates following the 2008 and 2012 USPSTF recommendations.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on prostate cancer incidence from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries and data on PSA screening rates in the past year among men 50 years and older without a history of prostate cancer from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Results showed that prostate cancer incidence in men 50 years and older rose slightly from 2005 to 2008, then decreased from 2008 to 2010, and further declines from 2010 to 2012, with the largest decrease occurring between 2011 and 2012.

Researchers also found that the number of men 50 years and older with prostate cancer diagnoses had declined by 33 519 from 2011 to 2012.

In regard to PSA screening rates, the study demonstrated that rates increased by 10% from 2005 to 2008, decreased slightly from 2008 to 2010, and then decreased by 18% from 2010 to 2013.

“Longer follow-up is needed to see whether these decreases are associated with trends in mortality,” the authors note.


1. Jemal A, Fedewa SA, Ma J, et al. Prostate cancer incidence and PSA testing patterns in relation to USPSTF screening recommendations. JAMA. 2015;314(19):2054-2061.