The renowned medical journal ‘Cancer’ yesterday published the results of a study titled ‘Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for Prostate Cancer and the Risk of Overt Metastatic Disease at Presentation‘. Click here to view the article.
The authors sought to examine the effects of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing and what (if any) effect this has on the number of men who first present with incurable metastatic disease. To do this, they analysed data from the era prior to PSA testing becoming available (from 1983 to 2000) and the results were staggering.
Metastatic prostate cancer is the result of prostate cancer being diagnosed at a late and incurable stage. It may be found in the bones or lymph nodes. Metastatic prostate cancer is ‘rapidly fatal’ with men diagnosed with secondary disease at first presentation having a life span of between <1 year to 2.6 years depending on age.
The results of the study found that without PSA testing more than 3 times as many men would present with metastatic disease and die. In Australia, this would mean that without PSA testing nearly 10,000 men out of the 20,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer would be diagnosed at an incurable stage and die (currently 3,300 men die from prostate cancer in Australia each year). Unlike studies that examine the mortality benefits of treatments, this study demonstrates that metastatic disease on presentation is not influenced by treatment but by early detection through PSA screening.
Combined with the updated results from the ERSPC trial, these results from the University of Rochester Medical Centre (URMC) provide some of the most compelling evidence to advocate for regular screening for men over the age of 40. The benefit of screening men for prostate cancer is twofold; it will lead to earlier diagnosis and improved survival.
Prostate Screen Australia is Australia’s first and only prostate cancer testing group. Prostate Screen Prostate Screen Australia provides men between 40 and 70 with prostate cancer testing in a clinic environment.
Click here to make an online appointment.