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PSA Test Does Cut Prostate Cancer Deaths, Study Finds
Date:7/1/2010

g for prostate cancer saves lives, he said. Still, the PSA test remains "a blunt instrument," when it comes to determining the aggressiveness of a particular tumor, Neal said. "We need better tests that identify more accurately those men destined to develop problems in the future from this disease," he said.

In the United States, PSA testing remains a routine part of most physical exams, according to Dr. Nelson Neal Stone, a professor of urology and radiation oncology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

"I would say 70 to 80 percent of physicians now order a PSA test," he said. "So it is more or less the standard to care in America to get a PSA done."

Stone noted that screening detects a lot of early cancers, which do not need to be treated. "When we see patients with low-risk disease we don't treat them, we observe them," he said.

"Younger men benefit most from screening, because they have the greatest risk of dying," Stone said. "This study clearly supports PSA screening to prevent prostate cancer deaths."

Another expert, Dr. Anthony D'Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, added that "people in good health will benefit from [PSA] screening, but people in poor health may not benefit at all." That's because if their prostate tumor is not aggressive they are more likely to die from the other, more serious conditions, he explained.

More information

For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Jonas Hugosson, M.D., Ph.D., professor, urology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; David E Neal, M.B., professor, surgical oncology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; Anthony D'Amico, M.D., Ph.D, chief, radiation oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Nelson Neal Stone, M.D., professor, urology and radiation oncology, Mo
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