Benefits of prostate-specific antigen testing remain unclear

Benefits of prostate-specific antigen testing remain unclear
It remains unclear whether the benefits of prostate-specific antigen testing outweigh the harms, but evidence suggests that men with a longer life expectancy may benefit from testing, according to a provisional clinical opinion from the American Society of Clinical Oncology published online July 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay) -- It remains unclear whether the benefits of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing outweigh the harms, but evidence suggests that men with a longer life expectancy may benefit from testing, according to a provisional clinical opinion from the American Society of Clinical Oncology published online July 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Ethan Basch, M.D., from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues address the role of PSA testing in the screening of men for prostate cancer. Evidence was considered from a 2011 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality systematic review on the benefits and harms of screening, and an updated search was conducted to identify additional related evidence.

The researchers found that, based on one randomized trial, PSA testing resulted in reduced death rates from prostate cancer, but it was unclear whether the benefits outweighed the screening-associated harms and unnecessary treatment. Evidence suggested that men with longer life expectancy may benefit from PSA testing. For the majority of men, -associated adverse events were low, but increasing rates of infectious complications after biopsy were noted in several population-based studies.

"At this point in time, it is uncertain whether the benefits associated with PSA testing for are worth the harms associated with screening and subsequent unnecessary treatment," the authors write. "Because the evidence does not clearly inform the issue around PSA-based screening and its downstream effects, the importance of informed and shared decision making becomes paramount."

One author disclosed financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline and Genomic Health.


Explore further

Expert panel suggests PSA test may benefit some men

More information: Abstract
Full Text
Journal information: Journal of Clinical Oncology

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Benefits of prostate-specific antigen testing remain unclear (2012, July 20) retrieved 20 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-07-benefits-prostate-specific-antigen-unclear.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 20, 2012
The PSA test is a scam,and always has been. Only an idiot would take one.

Jul 20, 2012
The problem with PSA is it doesn't identify the reason for a sudden spike in blood test levels.The best thing to do when it comes back elevated is ask for a retest.If the spike is due to some kind of self-limiting inflammation,the retest should show a drop back to normal historical level.If it is still elevated,getting biopsied is the safest course of action.

Jul 20, 2012
The problem with PSA is it doesn't identify the reason for a sudden spike in blood test levels,which could be due to cancer,or an infection or benign enlargement.The best thing to do when it comes back elevated is ask for a retest.If the spike is due to some kind of self-limiting inflammation,the retest should show a drop back to normal historical level.If it is still elevated,getting biopsied is the safest course of action.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more