Contrary to early opinions opposing Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) screening, a new review has revealed that PSA screening has potentials to reduce considerable the risk of death from prostate cancer.
The findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported on DailyMailOnline opposed current guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which advised against PSA screening for prostate cancer due to lack of evidence that it lowers the risk of death from the disease.
The review, led by Ruth Etzioni, Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA – suggested that guidelines for PSA screening may need to be reviewed.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the world, Nigeria inclusive, after skin cancer. This year, it is estimated that around 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the USA, while Nigerian men have been presenting late for diagnosis and treatment. Men ageds 65 and older are at greatest risk for prostate cancer, and the average age of diagnosis is 66 years.
PSA screening for prostate cancer
The PSA test is one of the predominant tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. It assesses levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, which is a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) state that the majority of men without prostate cancer will have a PSA level under 4 nanograms per milliliter. Men with a PSA level of between 4 and 10 nanograms per milliliter have a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer, while a PSA level over 10 is associated with a 50 percent chance of developing the disease.
However, there are many other factors that can influence a man’s PSA levels, including urinary tract infections and certain medications. As such, research has indicated that PSA tests run the risk of yielding false-positive results for prostate cancer, which may put men through unnecessary stress and treatment.