AUA Foundation Urges USPSTF to Appoint Broader Range of Medical Experts

Friday, December 4, 2009 General News
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Questions ability of panel to make informed decisions about cancer screening without urologists, oncologists, or radiologists

BALTIMORE, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Urological Association (AUA) Foundation is pleased to see the medical and advocacy community continuing to support current mammography guidelines implemented by experts in the field, rejecting the recent screening recommendations made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The AUA Foundation believes it is dangerous for the USPSTF, which currently includes no urologists, radiologists or oncologists, to recommend reducing the frequency of any cancer screening without the guidance of a medical specialist in the field. The controversy and confusion caused by the USPSTF's most recent recommendation illustrates the need for the task force to include medical experts from the areas on which they are advising.

"Urologists are the experts in prostate health, and as the task force turns its attention to other cancer screenings, these critical recommendations must be made by the physicians who treat the disease every day," said Sandra Vassos, Executive Director of the AUA Foundation. "We must make sure the controversy over cancer screenings do not surround the test, but rather how test results influence the decision to treat."

The decision to be screened for cancer is often a complex individual decision requiring the guidance of cancer specialists and always best determined by a patient and their physician. That's why the AUA Foundation's "Know Your Stats" campaign urges men 40 and over to talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer testing, including establishing a baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) score and regular physical exams. Because every case is different, there is no single standard for treatment that applies to all men, nor should there be at this time.

"I am a prostate cancer survivor and an example of the benefits of screening," said NFL Hall of Famer and prostate cancer survivor Mike Haynes, who received his diagnosis as the result of a screening by the NFL Player Care Association and the AUA Foundation. "There is a lack of awareness and information about the importance of screening. That is why I'm proud of what I'm doing to educate men and women to fight this disease."

Not all cancers require immediate treatment. But doctors and their patients cannot make an informed treatment decision, including the option for active surveillance, if they never know the cancer is present. Screening empowers patients and their doctors with the information to decide what treatment options are right for them.

The AUA Foundation is the world's leading non-profit urological health foundation and the Official Foundation of the American Urological Association. Our mission is to promote health, provide hope and promise a future free of urologic disease, including cancer.

As the official foundation of the AUA, the professional organization of approximately 16,000 urologists, the AUA Foundation is the trusted public source for the most accurate and current information relating to urological health.

Contacts:Wendy Waldsachs Isett Victoria FortAmerican Urological Association Zeno Group410-689-3932

SOURCE AUA Foundation

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