To evaluate whether effects of screening on prostate cancer mortality relative to no screening differed between the ERSPC and PLCO.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening significantly reduces the risk for death from deadly disease of prostate cancer as detection at early stage improves outcomes for patients, a new study claimed. Simultaneously there were two clinical trials conducted, one in USA and the other in Europe.
Prostate cancer develops mainly in older men.
But in a new look at the same data from the two studies, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers, including some involved in both of the earlier trials, conclude that PSA does indeed help reduce death from the disease.
After differences in implementation and settings are accounted for, the ERSPC and PLCO provide compatible evidence that screening reduces prostate cancer mortality. Due to the differing opinions and studies showing that men with prostate cancers usually do not die of prostate cancers as they are so slow to grow, in 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a recommendation that most men ages 55 to 69-except for those who have a family history of the disease or are at high risk of developing the cancer-should not get PSA testing done at routine intervals.
It takes into account what turned out to be a major problem with the USA study that found PSA tests had no benefit.
Prostate cancer incidence and survival from randomization; prostate cancer incidence in the United States before screening began. Given the uncertainty, and the risks of treating cancers that weren't aggressive, the USPSTF decided there wasn't convincing enough evidence to recommend PSA screening. The European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer suggested that screening drove down the rate of deaths from prostate cancer by 20 percent.
"If you think about it, 50-60,000 women die of breast cancer a year". There was no clear "control" group in the USA trial, where no patients received PSA testing. It found that the USA study actually agreed with the results of the European study showing that prostate cancer screening does save lives.
Because of this, Etzioni believes the decision about PSA screening will continue to be an individual choice for each man, after consulting with his doctor. Etzioni's team compared men in the two trials based on the intensity of screening they received.
Mertens also told 22News that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, the first being lung cancer. "It's important to take a deliberate, thorough and cautious approach to managing prostate cancer". The organization has tested more than five million men for prostate cancer during the past 30 years.
The author of an accompanying editorial from Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hopes that this paper will put to rest the question of whether PSA screening reduces prostate cancer mortality.