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:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... affiliations and de novo development, today announced Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology ... Surgery and Dermatology, with offices in both Hermitage and Lebanon, Tennessee, provides comprehensive ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Paul Vitenas, MD, FACS , is honored to announce ... list identifies the nation’s top physicians, in a variety of specialties. This marks the ... of Castle Connolly’s coveted ranking. , Castle Connolly is the nation’s trusted provider of ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... SGNA Standards of ... every reprocessing cycle, both between patient procedures and before storage, is a requisite ... as important to the prevention of disease transmission and nosocomial infection as cleaning ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... $5.99, eBook, 9781498499620    ) shares that during the time of a cancer diagnosis, surgery ... of God's love, and all the many ways God shows love to those ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... an opportunity for men and women to train as hospice volunteers. Volunteers provide ... life-limiting illness. For over 30 years, the agency has trained volunteers to be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2017)... Tenn. , July 31, 2017 Three Tru-D SmartUVC ... Yongsan, South Korea . Tru-D, short for "Total Room ... and operating rooms after an environmental services (ES) professional cleans the area ... ... "Although the ...
(Date:7/28/2017)... 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), ... ended June 30, 2017, and updated its financial outlook ... For the fiscal third quarter, Hill-Rom reported earnings ... diluted share in the prior-year period. These results reflect ... diluted share primarily related to the non-cash write-down of ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... WARSAW, Ind., July 27, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, ... the quarter ended June 30, 2017.  The Company reported ... of 1.1% over the prior year period, and an ... approximately 240 basis points of contribution from the LDR ... from the second quarter of 2016, or 0.3% on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: