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  • 7/31/2010

Prostate screening, overdiagnosis linked


While early detection and treatment has improved the survival rate in prostate cancer sufferers, it has led to potential overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer during prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening are at a lower risk of having high-grade tumors, tumors larger than 0.5 cm3, and metastasis.

These individuals, however, are 1-39 to 1.49 times more likely to undergo radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy.

According to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, men with PSA levels lower than 4 ng/mL, accounting for a large number of those diagnosed during a screening program, are more likely to receive aggressive treatments.

"Despite their lower risk of having clinically significant disease, treatment rates for men with PSA values of 4.0 ng/mL or lower were comparable to those of men presenting with PSA values between 4.0 and 20.0 ng/mL," said lead researcher Yu-Hsuan Shao, stressing that these individuals are prone to being overdiagnosed and overtreated for their disease.

Scientists concluded that many of the men who are aggressively treated for screen-detected low-grade prostate cancer do not benefit from the intervention.

"Prostate-specific antigen testing has led to an epidemic of prostate cancer, but a substantial proportion of PSA-detected cancers will never be clinically significant, and continuing to aggressively treat most men with low-risk cancers will certainly do more harm than good," said Richard Hoffman of the University of New Mexico and Steven Zeliadt of the University of Washington.

Source: presstv.ir

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