Posts Tagged ‘PSA screening’

Is it Possible to Predict Deaths from Prostate Cancer Before Age 50?

Friday, April 26th, 2013


A new report in the British Medical Journal concluded that nearly 50% of all prostate cancer deaths can be predicted before the age of 50. . Researchers reviewed data on over 21,000 men aged 27 to 52 between 1974 and 1984 who were taking part in a long term study in Sweden.   A previous study found that the PSA level at age 60 is strongly predictive of the risk of death from prostate cancer by age 85. .

In this study they focused their study on men close to age 40, mid-to-late forties (45-49) and early to mid fifties (51-55), ] All gave a blood sample, and a smaller group were invited to provide a second blood sample about six years later. Of this group 4922 or 72% comp0lied.

They found that within 30 years, 44% of prostate cancer deaths happened among those in the top 10% of PSA levels between the ages of 45-49. Individuals in this group were at over 10 times greater¬† risk of death when compared to those with the lowest PSA levels. They also found the risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer within 15 years is close to three-fold higher for men in the top PSA level at age 45-49 and close to ten fold higher at age 51-55. This suggests that initiating PSA screening after age 50 would leave a significant proportion of men with an elevated risk of later being diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer. They also found a low metastatic cancer risk for those with the lowest PSA level and said screening intervals of less than five years for these men is unnecessary. They concluded that PSA levels are informative of current risk of prostate cancer and also predictive of future risk of prostate cancer.They said screening p0rograms can “reduce the risk of over diagnosis while still enabling early cancer detection for me at the highest risk of death from prostate cancer.”¬† And the best way is to determine the risk by a single PSA test before age 50.

Unnecessary PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer for Elderly Men According to Recent Research

Friday, April 8th, 2011


A new study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that many elderly men in the United States may be undergoing unnecessary PSA testing for prostate cancer. Using survey data from 2000 and 2005 Researchers found that almost 1/2 of all men in their seventies underwent PSA screening for prostate cancer in the past year, and that was almost double the rate for men in their early fifties who were more likely to benefit from screening and treatment. In addition, men age 85 and older were screened as often as men in their early fifties. However, it is know from research that prostate cancer is slow growing and men, especially in their seventies and older, will die of other causes before prostate cancer becomes a problem and requires treatment.
In the study, data collected included information on age, smoking, mass-body index, underlying medical conditions, and other factors, and the researchers calculated the estimated five year life-expectancy of each man over 4o who had received a PSA test. All subjects were divided into 5 years groups starting with 70-74, and additionally including 75-79, 80-84, and 85 and older. There were 2, 623 men in these groups (subjects) and almost 12,000 men between age 40 and 69 served as controls.

The overall PSA screening rate within the past year for men age 40 and over was 23.7% in 2000 and 26 % in 2005. The rates were lowest in the 40 to 44 age group (7.5%) and highest in the 70 to 74 age group (45.5%). At age 85 and older the rate was 24.6%. Researchers concluded that “a high rate of elderly and sometimes ill men are being inappropriately screened for prostate cancer. We are concerned these screenings may prompt cancer treatment among elderly men who ultimately have a very low likelihood of benefiting the patient and paradoxically can cause more harm than good.” “We were also surprised to find that nearly three-quarters of men in their fifties were not screened within the past year.”

More information on this study can be found at: