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:10/13/2017)... ... , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of Directors has ... succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve in the ... at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and CEO on ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ... on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th ... Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ... PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across Massachusetts , ... by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end of the month. ... insurance regulations. ... get a flu shot is by the end of October, according to ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile ... the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. ... regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in ... to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to ... more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: