Siegel concedes that PSA testing could lead to needless and costly procedures performed out of fear or caution.
"There is no question that men get prostate biopsies that obviously in hindsight shouldn't happen. But we are looking at improving PSA testing and other testing to help us find out which men will progress with more advanced prostate cancer," he said.
The problem, he says, is that no one has yet come up with an alternative to determine which patients will develop advanced prostate cancer.
"Yes, it is true that many men can live with this disease their whole life. That is why active surveillance has become a treatment option," he says. "If we knew in advance who would and who wouldn't advance in the cancer, that'd be great!"
USPSTF said it could find no evidence to support claims that PSA tests are responsible for "reduction in all-cause mortality."
"In contrast, the harms associated with the diagnosis and treatment of screen-detected cancer are common, occur early, often persist, and include a small but real risk for premature death," the report said. "Many more men in a screened population will experience the harms of screening and treatment of screen-detected disease than will experience the benefit."