PSA Screening Has Little Impact on Prostate Cancer-related Deaths, Study Shows

PSA Screening Has Little Impact on Prostate Cancer-related Deaths, Study Shows
PSA screening has a minimal impact on prostate cancer-specific mortality but increases the likelihood of other health complications deriving from overdiagnosis, a recent meta-analysis shows. The study, “Prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the journal The BMJ. Measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels is a common approach for detecting prostate cancer at an early stage, allowing for early treatment and increased chances of survival. However, there are mixed opinions about the reliability of PSA in prostate cancer screening in the healthcare community. In an attempt to determine the benefits of PSA screening, researchers reviewed the literature for studies that compared PSA screening with usual care. Specifically, they aimed to determine whether PSA tests decreased all-cause mortality and prostate cancer-specific mortality. Their study included five randomized clinical trials, with a total of 721,718 men ages 40-80. Data showed that screening increased prostate cancer detection at any stage, with seven more men being diagnosed per 1,000 screened. And fewer men were diagnosed with advanced stage disease, meaning the disease was being caught earlier. However, PSA screening had no significant impact on the number of people who died of the disease or of any other cause, the researchers noted. Looking only into studies at lower risk of bias, the team found that scree
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Vijaya Iyer is a freelance science writer for BioNews Services. She has contributed content to their several disease-specific websites, including cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, among others. She holds a PhD in Microbiology from Kansas State University, where her research focused on molecular biology, bacterial interactions, metabolism, and animal models to study bacterial infections. Following the completion of her PhD, Dr. Iyer went on to complete three postdoctoral fellowships at Kansas State University, University of Miami and Temple University. She joined BioNews Services to utilize her scientific background and writing skills to help patients and caregivers remain abreast with important scientific breakthroughs.

One comment

  1. Edward Corlin says:

    PSA testing at age 70 saved my life. Contrary to popular opinion, not all prostate cancers are slow growing. My PSA numbers were doubling every six months, and I caught the cancer before it spread.

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