Prostate Cancer: Is PSA Screening effective

There were 2 articles summarized from the EAU 2007 conference on Urotoday.
They seemed to be conflicting, with one saying that delaying therapy did not seem to hurt many people and the other concluding that screening helped.
UroToday – EAU 2007 – Session on Prostate Cancer Screening:

beige_quote.bmpDr. Pelzer, Innsbruck presented data that the pathologic characteristics of PC detected in screened patients is favorable compared to PC detected in non-screened men. Of 997 RPs performed 1999-2006, 806 men were treated for screen detected PC and 191 were referred for surgery and not screen detected. Patient age and PSA levels were similar between the groups. The screen detected patients had statistically lower pathologic stages at surgery and lower Gleason scores. The rate of positive surgical margins was 11.7% in the screened group and 24.4% in the non-screened group. The worse pathologic variables suggest that the non-screened group is at higher risk for disease relapse compared to the screened patients. Dr. Pelzer, Innsbruck presented data that the pathologic characteristics of PC detected in screened patients is favorable compared to PC detected in non-screened men. Of 997 RPs performed 1999-2006, 806 men were treated for screen detected PC and 191 were referred for surgery and not screen detected. Patient age and PSA levels were similar between the groups. The screen detected patients had statistically lower pathologic stages at surgery and lower Gleason scores. The rate of positive surgical margins was 11.7% in the screened group and 24.4% in the non-screened group. The worse pathologic variables suggest that the non-screened group is at higher risk for disease relapse compared to the screened patients.

In the screening studies in Europe the screening only gets done every 4 years. They are still very useful and I look forward to seeing their results.
As the study I quoted points out, even though patients by be “curable” as defined by having disease confined to the prostate, there is still a higher volume of cancer and there is probably more people that will not be cured by surgery as evidenced by the higher positive margin rate.

Search

+