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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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