PSA screening for prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with a prostate cancer (PCa)-detection benefit that persists for up to nine years after stopping screening, researchers reported at the 28th annual congress of the European Association of Urology.

The finding emerged from a study of men in the Gothenberg, Sweden, cohort of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer. In 1995, 20,000 men aged 50-65 living in Gothenberg were randomized to an intervention arm (invited for biennial PSA screening) and a control arm of men not invited. At the screening upper age limit of 69 years, 13,423 men (6,449 in the screening arm and 6,974 in the control arm) were still alive without PCa. Investigators Anna Grenabo Gergdahl, MD, of The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg., and colleagues identified PCa cases using the Western Sweden Cancer Register.

After a follow-up of nearly five years in both study groups, 173 PCa cases were diagnosed in the screening arm—which translated into a PCa incidence of 4.9 cases per 1,000 person-years—compared with 371 cases in the control arm, which translated into a PCa incidence of 9.9 cases per 1,000 person-years. After nine years, the incidence in the screening arm caught up to that of the control arm, according to the investigators.

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The researchers concluded that a stop-age of 70 might be too low at least in men with high-risk disease and long life expectancies.