Screenings Don't Reduce Prostate Cancer Deaths

By Greg Wilson
|  Friday, Apr 1, 2011  |  Updated 11:45 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Screenings Don't Reduce Prostate Cancer Deaths

Getty Images

Dennis Hopper died last year of prostate cancer.

advertisement

Getting screened for prostate cancer may not help you stay alive after all.

In a 20-year study of more than 9,000 Swedish men, researchers found no difference in the rate of prostate cancer deaths between the men who were periodically screened and those who weren't. Testing is done with a physical exam and a PSA blood test.

"There is no escaping the fact that we need a better tool ... to help detect prostate cancers that actually need treating, as opposed to innocent ones that do not," said Malcolm Mason, a prostate cancer expert at Cancer Research U.K. in a statement. "In the meantime, men should be fully informed about the pros and cons of having their PSA measured."

During the 20-year study,1,500 out of just over 9,000 men were screened every three years for a decade. The death rate for both groups was similar.

"Screening for prostate cancer did not seem to have a significant effect on mortality," wrote Gabriel Sandblom of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and colleagues.

Critics also claim that false positive tests cause needless psychological harm and unneeded treatments can cause other health problems.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out