Dr. James Goodwin speaks with Jim Guidry about research on prostate cancer screening.
Listen to the interview with Guidry News
Many primary care doctors continue to administer the prostate-specific antigen test to even their oldest patients despite the fact that no medical organization recommends prostate cancer screening for men older than 75, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
In a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, UTMB researchers found a high variability in standard PSA-ordering practice among primary care physicians. Some doctors ordered the test for their older male patients regularly, despite more than a decade of recommendations against doing so. The doctors’ tendency to order the test had little to do with measurable patient characteristics.
“Our results suggest that a major reason for the continued high PSA rate is decision-making by the physicians,” said senior author Dr. James Goodwin, UTMB's director of UTMB’s Sealy Center on Aging. “That’s why there was so much variation among physicians, after accounting for differences among patients. It is clear that some of the overuse is because of preferences of individual patients, but the conclusion of our results is that much more is coming from their primary care physicians.”
Original UTMB News Release