From Katherine Hobson on the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog:
A member of the support staff [Kenneth Lin] for the United States Preventive Services Task Force [USPSTF] has quit over the cancellation of a meeting scheduled for today and tomorrow at which the task force was due to vote on the controversial issue of prostate-cancer screening. […]
Lin says that “politics trumped science,” and that “while the question of why the meeting was canceled is perhaps easily answered by looking at the calendar, in my mind it is much less apparent how to repair the damage that this setback did to the Task Force, medicine and the fragile public trust.”
Lin, of course, is referring to Election Day. We broke the story last week that the USPSTF had canceled the Nov. 1-2 meeting, which USPSTF Chairman Ned Calonge said was due to scheduling conflicts. […]
As we also reported last week, last November the USPSTF voted at first to give prostate-cancer screening a “D” recommendation for all age groups, meaning the group recommends against screening for all age groups. Currently the USPSTF has an “I” rating for prostate-cancer screening, which means the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms, for men younger than 75. For older men, the rating is “D.”
For more on prostate cancer screening, see yesterday’s post.