US panel OKs prostate cancer tests, with caveats

Posted at 7:25 AM, Apr 11, 2017

An influential U.S. government health panel is dropping its opposition to routine prostate cancer screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now says men should decide for themselves after discussing the pros and cons of testing with their doctor. Those conversations should start at 55.

The panels says its latest recommendation is based on new evidence indicating that routine PSA blood tests can slightly reduce some men's chances of dying from prostate cancer. The group also notes that drastic treatment can be avoided with close monitoring when cancer is detected.

The new draft guidelines echo those of several leading medical groups. They replace the panel's 2012 guidance, which said the tests did more harm than good.

The new recommendations were published Tuesday.