PSA Screening Lowers Prostate Cancer Death Risk

MILAN—Systematic PSA-based screening for prostate cancer (PCa) reduces by nearly one third the risk of death from the malignancy among men aged 55-69 years at baseline, according to study findings presented at the 28th annual congress of European Association of Urology. Researchers found no significant PCa-specific survival benefit associated with PSA screening among men aged 70-74 years at initial testing.

The findings, presented by Monique J. Roobol, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Department of Urology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, are the latest results from the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer. The study included men aged 54-74 years. A total of 21,210 men were randomized to a screening arm in which men were offered screening every four years and 21,166 were randomized to a control arm. The total number of PCa cases detected from 1993-2010 was 2,674 (12.6%) in the screening arm and 1,430 (6.8%) in the control arm.

Screening decreased the risk of PCa mortality by 20% overall for men aged 55-74 and by 31.6% for men aged 55-69 years. Screening was ineffective at lower PCa mortality risk among men aged 70-74.

Dr. Roobol told attendees that the approximately twofold greater incidence of PCa in the screening arm “underlines the importance of tools to better identify those men who could benefit from screening.”

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