Navigation Links
Study Finds PSA Testing Cuts Prostate Cancer Death Risk
Date:3/15/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Adding another perspective to one of the most controversial and confounding issues in medicine, a new European study reports that men who received routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to check for signs of prostate cancer were 30 percent less likely to die from the disease.

But the big picture isn't simple enough for the new research to solve once and for all the question of whether PSA testing helps men.

"There is little doubt that a man who undergoes testing will have about a 30 percent less chance of dying from prostate cancer," said the study's lead author, Dr. Fritz Schroder, professor of urology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands. "On the other side, there's a 30 percent chance that a cancer found is insignificant and the patient may be confronted with the side effects of treatment unnecessarily."

Schroder is referring to the major issue in the PSA debate: Do the PSA tests do more harm than good?

In some cases, the tests detect cancer that would be deadly, giving men an opportunity to treat it and potentially survive. In other cases, men are unnecessarily treated for cancer that actually would develop so slowly that it wouldn't threaten their lives.

There's also the matter of cost -- PSA screenings cost an estimated $3 billion in the United States each year -- and the potentially severe side effects of treatment, including incontinence and impotence. In addition, the new study found that only about 0.5 percent of men developed the cancer and died from it in the period reviewed.

For the new study, the scientists examined the medical records of more than 160,000 men in eight European countries, who ranged in age from 55 to 69 when the study began. Some were randomly assigned to receive PSA screening tests.

After an average of 11 years, the men in the study who got screened were 21 percent less likely to have died from prostate cancer.

The study findings appear in the March 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

A physician who wrote an accompanying journal commentary said the new findings "add more confusion" to the issue. But one thing is clear: They don't convince him that routine PSA tests are a good idea.

The problem is that "you can have prostate cancer sitting there, doing nothing," said Dr. Anthony Miller, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. "It's not going to kill them; it's not going to grow."

But a PSA test can still discover prostate cancer, leading to unnecessary tests and treatment.

"You'll always find people who are convinced that no matter what is done, the evidence doesn't matter and what they really want to find out is if they have any cancer," Miller said. "They will assume that the mere fact of finding a cancer will mean that good has been done."

Miller recommends the PSA test only for men who have certain symptoms or if it's used to monitor treatment in men who have prostate cancer. "As a general screening for healthy men, I do not recommend it at all," he said.

Miller also doesn't recommend the prostate examination done by hand that physicians commonly give to middle-aged and older men, unless symptoms are present.

More information

For more about prostate cancer, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Fritz Schroder, M.D., professor of urology, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Anthony Miller, M.D., professor emeritus of epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. March 15, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Eyes a Window Into Brain Health: Study
2. Giving Birth to Small Babies Linked to Heart Disease in Moms: Study
3. A study confirms the correlation between premature alopecia and prostate conditions
4. Monitoring antibiotic use cuts millions in wasteful spending, study finds
5. Largest ever study of childhood ALL shows improving survival
6. Study finds expensive procedure no more effective than medical therapy to prevent strokes
7. Anti-Smoking Efforts Saved 795,000 Lives Over 25 Years: Study
8. New Gel Treats Precancerous Skin Condition in Days: Study
9. Study: US tobacco-control efforts prevented nearly 800,000 cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000
10. Personalized immune mouse offers new tool for studying autoimmune diseases
11. Inflammation Might Play Role in Heart Disease: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 25, 2017 , ... CareSet Labs released the Root ... Orleans. This is a new, greatly improved version of the Doctor Referral teaming dataset ... by Fred Trotter and subsequently called the the “Doctor Referral Dataset” as released by ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... York (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2017 , ... ... the Dental365 family. Located at 217 Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma, Dental365 offers ... evenings and weekends so that visits to the dentist fit into their patients’ ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... By scoring 100% for fiscal management and accountability, the ... online charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, validating ANRF's work as a top charity in America. ... Charity Navigator and earns ANRF a spot on their “ 10 Charities Worth Watching ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Military Connection friend and veteran advocate Micaela Bensko ... Atlantic lounge. , Bensko is no stranger to the plight of the disabled. ... life to supporting our wounded veterans. A world-class photographer, her riveting photos “The Wounds ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Georgia State University will host the First ... two-day conference is focused on advancing scientific knowledge about the aggressive triple negative ... racial breast cancer-related disparities. The conference theme is “Illuminating Actionable Biology.” , Conference ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/9/2017)... , June 9, 2017 AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX: ... on the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of the ... the progress of its commercial roll-out in ... in more than one hundred (100) medical institutions and ... AeroForm offers a needle-free alternative for women who choose ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) today ... R. Goodwin , U.S. District Court Judge for the ... entered a case management order in MDL 2325, American ... (the "MDL") that includes a provision requiring plaintiffs in ... specific causation within one hundred twenty (120) days of ...
(Date:6/3/2017)... , June 3, 2017  Eli Lilly and ... that results from the Phase 3 MONARCH 2 ... & 6 inhibitor, in combination with fulvestrant, significantly ... fulvestrant alone in women with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human ... cancer who have relapsed or progressed after endocrine ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: