Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Early prostate cancer screening may reduce mortality rate

08.07.2005


Study shows significant benefit



Early screening of prostate cancer in asymptomatic men may reduce their risk of death from metastatic prostate cancer by as much as 35 per cent, researchers from the University of Toronto have found.

"Early screening with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) is quite controversial. There are many arguments both for and against the efficacy of this form of early screening," says Vivek Goel, professor of public health sciences and health policy management and evaluation at U of T and one of the senior authors of the study. "Our study shows a fairly significant benefit, and this benefit is demonstrated even among men who were not screened regularly as part of a screening program. There may be greater benefit from an organized screening program."


Published in the August issue of the Journal of Urology, Goel and Jacek Kopec, a professor at the University of British Columbia, did much of this work while both were part of U of T’s public health sciences department. The researchers conducted a population-based case control study in the Greater Toronto Area of 236 men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer and a control group of 462 men who did not have metastatic prostate cancer. From 1999 to 2002, they matched subjects on age and area of residence and obtained self-reported information about their lifestyles, health history and utilization of health services. The researchers also received permission to review medical records and history of screening.

They found that PSA screening of asymptomatic men reduced their risk of metastatic prostate cancer by 35 per cent.

In North America, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and the second leading cause of death by cancer in men, often as a result of the cancer spreading or metastasizing to other parts of the body. PSA tests are simple blood tests that detect an antigen in blood. While small amounts of this antigen are normal, higher levels could indicate problems like prostate cancer.

The controversy surrounding early PSA screening deals with false positives generated by high PSA scores. Hidden or localized prostate cancer does not always metastasize and people with this localized cancer may go on to live normal lives for years without incident.

"Just by chance alone you’re going to be picking up some of those prostate cancers, and those people wind up getting labeled as prostate cancer patients," states Goel. "They get treatments for it, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy – all of which have side effects – not to mention the anxiety and angst associated with having prostate cancer as a label. But the reality also is that they may never have actually died of the prostate cancer because it was so localized."

When they compiled data results, Kopec and Goel, both of whom are public health epidemiologists, say they were surprised by the size of the protective effect. "What usually happens with tests like these is that clinicians tend to be very supportive while public health people tend to be more cautious," says Kopec. "The clinical members of our study team feel that these findings are confirming what they had believed all along; we were a bit more surprised. A 35 per cent difference is quite a large amount so from our perspective it is quite a significant link in the chain supporting that early prostate screening has a positive impact."

Ontario is among the half of Canadian provinces that does not cover the costs of PSA screening tests. Guidelines for physicians in Ontario recommend that men over 50 should be informed of the health risks and benefits of early screening by their family physician.

Elaine Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>