Prostate cancer screening tests show that screening cuts down mortality, after differences in settings and implementations were recorded. The recent discovery may call for a revision of the guidelines that detests routine PSA-based screening. However, it seems to be unclear how to conduct screenings without facing the challenges of overtreatment.
PSA screening guideline needs revision
United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a directive that detests prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening because the results from the tests showed very weak possibility of alleviating prostate cancer.
The recommendation by USPSTF was footed on the conflicting results from the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). While the ERSPC results showed lowered activities of prostate cancer, PLCO results showed no reduction, though differences in compliance, study implementation and practice may have caused the difference.
A team of researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the University of Michigan was bent on formally testing and showing the effects of the PSA screening of prostate cancer mortality. They employed the mathematical model to account for the possible differences that must have caused the conflicting results by PLCO and ERSPC – practice settings, study implementation and compliance.
The research team identified screening could reduce deaths from prostate cancer significantly. The author of a co-editorial from Sloan Kettering Cancer Center believes the result will clear the air about if PSA helps in curtailing mortality rate from prostate cancer. Instead, more efforts should be geared towards devising means of making the benefits of this screening outweigh the dangers of overtreatment.