Some regular readers may want to be keeping an eye on what the American Urological Association (AUA) is providing to its members in response to the recent, final U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation related to the widespread use of PSA testing of healthy men as a method to “screen” for risk of prostate cancer.
Earlier today, the AUA provided its members with a “toolkit” of materials that can be found on the AUA’s web site.
Sadly, having initially taken an excellent step forward with the new information sheet for patients issued just 2 weeks ago (which carefully dropped the inaccurate use of the term “screening” to focus on the importance of appropriate use of the PSA test to “test” for risk for prostate cancer in individuals), the AUA has now taken a thoroughly unwise step backwards again by lumping into this “toolkit” both the new material and older materials that utterly fail to make this careful distinction between testing of individuals and screening of the entire population.
The consequence of this unfortunate decision is that the AUA will now succeed in confusing their own members right along with everyone else. The AUA would likely tell us that they simply didn’t have the time to revise the older materials in an appropriate manner. The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink would argue that if the AUA didn’t have the time to revise the older materials to be in lock-step with the new ones, then it would have been better advised to not introduce the new toolkit until they had had the time to make the necessary revisions.