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There has been a significant amount of controversy over the appropriateness of blood tests for prostate cancer in recent months. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against such testing, but new evidence suggests that PSA testing may accurately predict men's future prostate cancer risk.
A team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic reported at the recent meeting of the American Urologic Association that a single PSA test in men younger than 50 accurately predicted 15-year prostate cancer risk, according to MedPage Today. Those with PSA levels below 1 nanogram per milliliter of blood had a very small future risk, while those with levels above this point had a much higher risk.
"Baseline PSA in men younger than 50 can risk-stratify men for prostate cancer," said lead researcher Christopher Weight, according to the news source. "Men with a baseline PSA [above] 1 ng/mL have a substantial risk of subsequent biopsy and cancer diagnosis and should be followed annually."
The findings suggest that there may be more value to blood testing for prostate cancer risk than the Preventive Services Task Force recognized. The panel's final recommendations were just issued last week, but the new findings suggest they may need to be revised.
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