The Director of the Hereditary Cancer Center at Creighton weighs in on Task Force recommendation

May 21, 2012

A Creighton University oncologist is critical of an announcement by the United States Preventive Services Task Force about PSA-based screenings.

The Task Force announced this afternoon its recommendation against prostate-specific antigen or PSA-based screenings for all men regardless of age. Dr. Henry Lynch is the Director of the Hereditary Cancer Center at Creighton. 

With prostate cancer being the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, Dr. Lynch says he and his colleagues were shocked by the recommendation.  He says they worry the recommendation could be used by insurance companies to justify denial of coverage for the test, or limit its use significantly. 

Dr. Lynch says the Task Force made a mistake in not asking any urologists or cancer specialists to be part of the committee.

"It’s clear to my colleagues and me that there was a requirement that part of the make up of this committee would certainly have these specialty areas included.  So the experience of urologists and cancer specialists, who deal with preventive aspects of PSA, would be party to the recommendation.”

Dr. Lynch and his colleagues wrote an editorial response to the findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is available online at

He says they are hopeful that the thrust of their recommendations will not only bring attention to the matter but also convince the Task Force to reverse their decision.