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Study: Annual Prostate Cancer Test Doesn't Save Lives

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 8:31am

Researchers have found more evidence that annual prostate cancer screening, called PSA test,  in men doesn't save lives. Scientists followed 76,000 men for 10 to 13 years and found annual screening for prostate cancer led to more diagnoses but didn't result in less deaths from the disease, according to a new study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Last October, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against routine PSA screenings for most men because of similar concerns about the accuracy of screening using a blood test that measures a protein called prostate-specific antigen or PSA.

Dr. Otis Brawley,  the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society said the harms of screening are better proved than the benefits,which is why he supports the USPSTF recommendations. A substantial number of men receive unnecessary treatment because of the annual tests,which can lead to harms such as impotence and incontinence and can even lead to premature death, he wrote.

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