swedish study prostate cancer screening

Swedish Study Concludes Prostate Cancer Screening Reduces Deaths by 50%

An article was recently published summarizing the results of a 14 year study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden on prostate cancer screening.  The article, written by Kristen Hallam, states that PSA testing for prostate cancer helped reduce prostate cancer deaths by 50% after 14 years of study.  Of 10,000 men screened using PSA tests every 2 years, 44 died of prostate cancer.  The other 10,000 men in the study were not given PSA tests and 78 of them died of prostate cancer.  Total deaths were almost identical in both groups with 1,981 deaths in the screening group and 1,982 in the non-screening group. The study also found that 11.4% of men in the screening group and 7.2% of the non-screening group were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

There has been much debate over whether there has been too much screening for prostate cancer, which some feel results in unnecessary treatment of the disease that can impair quality of life.  However, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center highly recommends annual PSA screening accompanied by digital rectal exams for men over the age of 50.  (African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening at the age of 40.)  Prostate cancer is much easier to treat and cure in the early stages, which can be detected by screening.

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