September 30, 2013
Organized Screening For Prostate Cancer Does More Harm Than Good
Prostate cancer screening using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is widely used in France despite a lack of evidence showing that it reduces cancer deaths. Now, researchers have shown that men experience more harm than good from routine PSA screening, according to research to be presented on Monday by Professor Mathieu Boniol, at the 2013 European Cancer Congress (ECC2013).
Prof Boniol, Research Director at the International Prevention Research Institute (iPRI) and Professor at the Strathclyde Institute for Global Public Health at iPRI, Lyon, France, will tell the congress that the total harm men experience in terms of impotence and incontinence, and the side-effects from prostate cancer treatments, severely affects their quality of life, and should further discourage the use of PSA testing for prostate cancer screening.
"We wanted to provide clinicians with a better idea of the consequences of organized PSA screening and we thought that providing numbers for the different side-effects following PSA testing would be easiest to interpret. Therefore, we estimated the total harm that men could endure if exposed to PSA testing by applying different side-effect estimates to a virtual population of 1,000 men aged 55