Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What would happen without PSA testing?

Date:
July 30, 2012
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
A new analysis has found that doing away with PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing for prostate cancer would likely cause three times as many men to develop advanced disease that has spread to other parts of the body before being diagnosed. The study suggests that PSA testing and early detection may prevent approximately 17,000 men each year from having such advanced prostate cancer at diagnosis.

A new analysis has found that doing away with PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing for prostate cancer would likely cause three times as many men to develop advanced disease that has spread to other parts of the body before being diagnosed. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study suggests that PSA testing and early detection may prevent approximately 17,000 men each year from having such advanced prostate cancer at diagnosis.

PSA testing has come under fire recently as a potentially ineffective screen for prostate cancer. Last year a government panel reviewed the available evidence and concluded that PSA testing has little or no benefit and that doctors are finding and treating non-aggressive cancers that are not likely to cause symptoms or be lethal. Therefore, many men may be experiencing serious treatment side effects such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction for no reason.

To see what might happen if PSA testing were abandoned, Edward Messing, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, and his team looked at information from the years immediately before routine PSA testing was done (1983-1985) and compared it to the current era of widespread PSA testing (2006 to 2008). The information for the analysis came from the nation's largest cancer registry, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. The researchers were particularly interested in the records of patients who had advanced prostate cancer that had already spread to other parts of the body at the time of diagnosis. These cases are generally incurable and always cause significant symptoms very quickly if left untreated.

The investigators found that approximately 8,000 cases of prostate cancer had already spread to distant sites (i.e. -- metastases) at the time of diagnosis in the United States in 2008 (the most recent SEER year). Next, they designed a mathematical model that used pre-PSA incidence rates of metastatic disease from the mid-1980s to estimate the number of such advanced cases that would be expected to occur in 2008 if PSA screening had not been done. They predicted the number would be approximately 25,000, which is about three times greater than the number actually observed.

"Our findings are very important in light of the recent controversy over PSA testing," said Dr. Messing. "Although there are trade-offs associated with the PSA test and many factors influence the disease outcome, our data clearly indicate that not doing the PSA test will result in many more men presenting with far advanced prostate cancer. Almost all men with clinically apparent metastases at initial diagnosis will die from prostate cancer," he added.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the male population. In 2012 an estimated 241,740 new cases will be diagnosed and 28,000 deaths will occur. Prognosis depends on whether the cancer has spread, and the degree to which the cancer cells are abnormal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emil Scosyrev, Guan Wu, Supriya Mohile, Edward M. Messing. Prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer and the risk of overt metastatic disease at presentation. Cancer, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27503

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "What would happen without PSA testing?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120730094918.htm>.
Wiley. (2012, July 30). What would happen without PSA testing?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120730094918.htm
Wiley. "What would happen without PSA testing?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120730094918.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins