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American Cancer Society questions study claiming increase in metastatic prostate cancer

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 25 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4125
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

A study claiming a rise in metastatic prostate cancer has been questioned, and the American Cancer Society posted a response after calls from journalists.1 2

The study, led by Edward Schaeffer, professor of urology at Northwestern University in Chicago, examined the records of 767 550 men with prostate cancer diagnosed from 2004 to 2013. They found that cases of metastatic disease increased from 1685 in 2004 to 2890 in 2013.

Publication of the study was preceded by a press release from Northwestern University,3 headed, “Metastatic prostate cancer cases skyrocket: increase may be due to more lax screening or more aggressive disease.” The news release cited a 72% rise in metastatic disease and quoted Schaeffer as saying that the increase was “probably” caused, at least in part, by lax screening after the 2012 United States Preventive …

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