Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Acceptable consequences of screening for prostate cancer

11.01.2011
The negative aspects of screening for prostate cancer may be acceptable, since screening halves mortality from the disease. This is the conclusion of a thesis presented at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In July 2010, a research team led by Jonas Hugosson, professor in urology at the Sahlgrenska Academy, presented the results of a large randomised study of screening for prostate cancer in Gothenburg, with a 14-year follow up.

The results were published in the prestigious journal The Lancet Oncology. The study included 10,000 men (the screening group) aged 50-64 years who were randomly assigned to regular blood samples to check their level of a prostate cancer marker known as PSA (Prostate- Specific Antigen) every two years, and 10,000 men who were randomly assigned not to be screened (the control group).

The study showed that regular PSA-screening nearly halved the mortality from prostate cancer after 14 years. The screening was, however, associated with a certain risk of over-diagnosis.

The study is one of five papers in the thesis presented by Sigrid Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D. The thesis also includes an investigation of the side-effects that screening caused. Most of the men who were detected by screening to have early, localised prostate cancer and who were treated with curative intent underwent surgery (radical prostatectomy). "We analysed the side effects of surgery based on how these can be measured relative to the reduced mortality from the disease", says Sigrid Carlsson from the Department of Urology at the Sahlgrenska Academy. The results presented in her thesis show that for each man whose life was saved by PSA screening, four more men will become impotent or sexually inactive, while less than one more man will experience problems with urinary incontinence. These figures are lower than those expected by the scientists.

"There is a significant risk of affecting the sexual performance. Most men who undergo surgical treatment for prostate cancer become impotent. But if this is seen in the light of the benefit of a lower mortality, then the side-effects do not appear to be as large as sometimes claimed, particularly if we view the situation from a wider perspective. On the individual level, however, it is clear that there may be considerable suffering", says Sigrid Carlsson.

The thesis reveals also a tendency for men in the screening group who underwent surgery for prostate cancer to be affected by impotence at a lower degree than those in the control group who underwent surgery. It was also shown that few men experienced that PSA sampling and taking biopsies from the prostate causedparticularly high levels of anxiety. Furthermore, serious life-threatening complications from the biopsy procedure or from prostate surgery were very uncommon.

The thesis makes clear the advantages and disadvantages of PSA screening, but the scientists do not believe that the time is right to recommend general screening. In addition, the screening study is still ongoing in Gothenburg.

"We need more studies and a longer follow-up. We also need studies on cost-effectiveness, in combination with measurements of the men’s quality of life", says Sigrid Carlsson.

PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among Swedish men - approximately 9,000 men are diagnosed each year. It is also the most frequent cause of cancer death in Swedish men, and more than 5% of all men die from this form of cancer, often after a long and painful period of illness.

The thesis has been successfully defended.

Sigrid Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D.,Department of Urology at Sahlgrenska
Academy,
mobile: +46 70 932 8295,
e-mail: sigrid.carlsson@gmail.com

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/21922
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>