PSA Testing Cuts Deaths, Shows Value of Long-Term Screening

PSA Testing Cuts Deaths, Shows Value of Long-Term Screening
A blood test measuring the levels of PSA — a well-known marker of prostate cancer — cuts deaths from the disease by nearly 30%, the longest screening study on prostate cancer shows. The study, "Improving Prostate Cancer Screening: 22-Year Follow-up in a Randomized Trial," followed 20,000 men in Sweden for more than two decades and was featured in Maria Franlund's PhD thesis. "This research is important because it shows the long-term effects of an organized screening program in Sweden," Franlund, MD, PhD in Urology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and head of department at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, said in a press release. There is no question that PSA screening detects prostate cancer about six years earlier than a digital rectal exam and 10 years before symptoms appear. However, whether to routinely screen men for their PSA levels remains one of the most controversial subjects of recent years among urologists. The issue comes from not knowing whether PSA testing actually saves men's lives, and whether the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of otherwise harmless cancers would be worth the risk. Thus, current guidelines in most countries worldwide suggest that routine PSA testing should not be offered alone for diagnosing prostate cancer. Franlund's research, however, challenges those recommendations. The study was based on data from the Randomized Population-Based Prostate Cancer Screening Trial (ISRCTN54449243), which included 20,000 men living in the city o
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Inês Martins holds a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is currently finishing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on blood vessels and their role in both hematopoiesis and cancer development.

One comment

  1. Christopher O'Neill says:

    The results of this trial were never proven to be consistent with the results of other trials in other countries, such as Finland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland or Spain.

    It remains a mystery why the results can’t be proven consistent. PSA screening has not been proven to save lives from Prostate Cancer in these other countries under their screening protocols.

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