Falling death rate from prostate cancer suggests that PSA screening may be useful, study says

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 15 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1093
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

General screening with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test may be effective in reducing the number of deaths from prostate cancer, new research indicates.

In the United States and six other countries mortality from the disease is now lower than it was before the PSA test was introduced in the late 1980s, the study says (International Journal of Cancer doi: 10.1002/ijc.23520), indicating that PSA screening “could reduce prostate cancer mortality in the male population.”

The authors of the study, which looked at recent trends in prostate cancer mortality in 38 countries, say that only ongoing clinical trials in the US and Europe—whose results are expected over the next two years—will be able to distinguish between the contributions of screening and advances in treatment to the fall in mortality. …

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