The Latest: PSA Testing Cuts Prostate Cancer Deaths
Advice about prostate cancer screening, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, is often conflicting and can be confusing – especially for middle-aged men approaching 50. Now, an analysis of two of the largest prostate screening studies ever conducted suggests PSA testing does in fact reduce the risk of death from prostate cancer.
PSA testing measures blood levels of a protein produced by the prostate gland. Abnormally high PSA levels can indicate prostate cancer, but not in all cases. Recommendations about PSA testing differ: For example, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend routine PSA screening, but the American Cancer Society advises men to discuss the test with their health care provider.
The new analysis strongly suggests that PSA testing lowers the risk of dying from prostate cancer by as much as 32 percent. The data came from two large research efforts, the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer, which was conducted in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, which was conducted in the United States.