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Researchers find many elderly men are undergoing unnecessary PSA screenings
Date:3/28/2011

out when men should be considered for PSA screening and when screening should stop, and recent studies have provided conflicting evidence on whether routine PSA screening in the general population of men actually reduces the risk of dying from prostate cancer. Based on these concerns, major organizations such as the American Cancer Society now encourage men who expect to live at least 10 years to talk with their doctor about the risks and benefits of screening, starting at age 50 for men with an average risk or at age 45 for men with a higher risk.

In this study, the researchers examined results from health surveys of randomly selected households conducted in 2000 and 2005 as part of the federal government-sponsored National Health Interview Survey. In addition to reviewing survey data, which included information on age, smoking, mass-body index, underlying medical conditions and other factors, the investigators calculated the estimated five-year life expectancy of each man over 40 who had received a PSA test.

They divided survey results of men age 70 and older into five-year age groups (70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80 to 84, and 85 years and older). In all, 2,623 men ages 70 and older were included in the analysis, while nearly 12,000 men between the ages of 40 and 69 served as controls.

The overall PSA screening rate within the past year for men aged 40 and older was 23.7 percent in 2000 and 26.0 percent in 2005. The PSA screening rate was lowest in the 40 to 44 age group (7.5 percent). Researchers found that the PSA screening rate was 24.0 percent in men ages 50 to 54, increasing with age until a peak of 45.5 percent in ages 70 to 74. Screening rates then declined with age, with 24.6 percent of men 85 or older reporting being screened.

Among men who were 70 or older, the investigators did find that PSA screening was more common in men with a greater estimated five-year life expectancy. For example, approximately 47.3 percent of men w
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Contact: Kelly Powell
kelly.powell@asco.org
571-483-1365
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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