Recent trends in PSA testing and prostate cancer incidence

Ruth Etzioni, Roman Gulati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE Prostate cancer incidence inmen75 years and older substantially decreased following the 2008US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation against prostatespecific antigen (PSA)-based screening for this age group. It is unknownwhether incidence has changed since the USPSTF recommendation against screening for allmeninMay 2012. OBJECTIVE To examine recent changes in stage-specific prostate cancer incidence and PSA screening rates following the 2008 and 2012 USPSTF recommendations. DESIGN AND SETTINGS Ecologic study of age-standardized prostate cancer incidence (newly diagnosed cases/100 000 men aged≥50 years) by stage from 2005 through 2012 using data from 18 population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries and PSA screening rate in the past year among men 50 years and older without a history of prostate cancer who responded to the 2005 (n = 4580), 2008 (n = 3476), 2010 (n = 4157), and 2013 (n = 6172) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). EXPOSURES The USPSTF recommendations to omit PSA-based screening for average-risk men. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Prostate cancer incidence and incidence ratios (IRs) comparing consecutive years from 2005 through 2012 by age (≥50, 50-74, and≥75 years) and SEER summary stage categorized as local/regional or distant and PSA screening rate and rate ratios (SRRs) comparing successive survey years by age. RESULTS Prostate cancer incidence per 100 000 in men 50 years and older (N = 446 009 in SEER areas) was 534.9 in 2005, 540.8 in 2008, 505.0 in 2010, and 416.2 in 2012; rates began decreasing in 2008 and the largest decrease occurred between 2011 and 2012, from 498.3 (99%CI, 492.8-503.9) to 416.2 (99%CI, 411.2-421.2). The number of men 50 years and older diagnosed with prostate cancer nationwide declined by 33 519, from 213 562 men in 2011 to 180 043 men in 2012. Declines in incidence since 2008 were confined to local/regional-stage disease and were similar across age and race/ethnicity groups. The percentage of men 50 years and older reporting PSA screening in the past 12 months was 36.9%in 2005, 40.6%in 2008, 37.8%in 2010, and 30.8%in 2013. In relative terms, screening rates increased by 10% (SRR, 1.10; 99%CI, 1.01-1.21) between 2005 and 2008 and then decreased by 18%(SRR, 0.82; 99%CI, 0.75-0.89) between 2010 and 2013. Similar screening patterns were found in age subgroups 50 to 74 years and 75 years and older. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Both the incidence of early-stage prostate cancer and rates of PSA screening have declined and coincide with 2012 USPSTF recommendation to omit PSA screening from routine primary care for men. Longer follow-up is needed to see whether these decreases are associated with trends in mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-956
Number of pages2
JournalJAMA Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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