Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, but a new study finds a routine protein-specific antigen, or PSA screening, can reduce the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
Researchers looked at a database of more than 1,700 men. They assessed the impact of screening by comparing the severity of prostate cancer cases before PSA testing began in 1992, to those discovered after screening was first advocated in the United States.
Results show 82 percent of men treated after routine PSA screenings began had a 15-year metastases-free survival, meaning the cancer was detected early, a treatment plan developed, and it kept the disease from spreading up to 15 years after the initial diagnosis.
Researchers say a PSA screening is effective, but the next step will be to fine-tune the information it provides.
"I would argue that we still need to screen patients, but we should be more intelligent with the cancers we find. There are, for examples, many prostate cancers one can find so early that it may be appropriate just to survey these patients. It's something that's called active surveillance, which allows a physician to do this," said Dr. Jay Ciezki, the leader of the study done by Cleveland Clinic.
Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Urology."