Until now, experts in the USA had expressly spoken out against a widespread use of the PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer. Since then the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has revised their negative judgment about its benefits. The 180-degree turnaround is due to new study results showing a clear decrease in mortality and metastasis in PSA-tested men, as well as a reassessment of the American PSA screening study (PLCO).
“This is clear evidence of the benefits of PSA testing in prostate cancer screening," says Dr. Stephan Neubauer from the West German Prostate Center in Cologne. However, according to the urologist, the correct handling of the test results is essential for the further procedure. It often happens that PSA values are misinterpreted and action is taken prematurely. For example, benign prostate enlargement or inflammation can lead to increased but harmless PSA levels. “It is always essential to have a professional-founded evaluation of a man's overall findings and not an isolat-ed evaluation of the PSA”, summarizes Dr. Neubauer.
1 Shoag JE1, Mittal S1, Hu JC2.: Reevaluating PSA Testing Rates in the PLCO Trial. N Engl J Med. 2016 May 5;374(18):1795-6. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1515131.
2Schröder FH et al.: Screening and prostate-cancer mortality in a randomized Euro-pean study. N Engl J Med. 2009 Mar 26;360(13):1320-8. Epub 2009 Mar 18.
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