Study Confirms PSA Test Saves Lives

A new study has found that PSA testing reduces the rate of deaths from prostate cancer.

The study, out of Sweden, was published by the Lancet Oncology Medical Journal. In a 14 year review of 20,000 men between the ages 50 to 65, they found that PSA testing reduced the death rate from prostate cancer by 44 percent.

The statistics on prostate cancer are daunting.  It’s expected that one in every six men will have prostate cancer during their life.  There are no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Which is why experts saying testing is critical. African Americans are at a higher risk, as are men with prostate cancer in their family history.

The Swedish scientists who authored the report say that 12 men need to be diagnosed in order to prevent one cancer death.  They also stated that they found the risk of over-diagnosis was not as high as previously thought, and that “the benefit of prostate cancer screening compares favorably to other cancer screening programs.”

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has recently caused controversy by taking a position downplaying the importance of early screening.  In their publication “Cancer Journal for Clinicians”, they say that: “the ACS has taken a clear position discouraging routine or mass screening and encouraging a discussion within the physician-patient relationship”.

Skip Lockwood, the CEO of ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer, said:

“With 2010 statistics predicting a 17 percent jump in prostate cancer deaths – the largest in more than a decade – the ACS should be encouraging men to take control of their lives and get tested. Instead, ACS is more concerned about sexual side effects rather than saving men’s lives – though it quickly changed its tune when it said the same thing last year about women getting a mammogram.”

“Like the mammogram, we acknowledge the PSA test is not perfect – it cannot distinguish slow-growing tumors from rapidly growing ones – but until new methods for testing are developed, it’s still the best tool available for early detection and prompt treatment of prostate cancer”.

While the ACS does not support early detection through PSA testing, it is supported by more than a dozen leading U.S. organizations.  This includes the American Urological Association, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, Malecare Prostate Cancer Support, the Men’s Health Network, the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, Prostate Cancer International, the Prostate Conditions Education Council, the  Prostate Health Education Network, The Prostate Net, the Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, and Women Against Prostate Cancer.

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Cassie Sommers

Cassie is back! One of our founding writers, Cassie has returned to write for CP after taking some time off to travel across Asia. Cassie has a BS in Journalism and loves all things entertainment. If it has to do with games, movies, tv, or travel, she's on it.

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