The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on new research, published
in British Medical Journal, which examines the impact of
prostate cancer screening on mortality.
Dr Sarah Cant, Head of Policy & Campaigns for The Prostate
Cancer Charity said: "Whilst this research suggests that
screening men for prostate cancer doesn't reduce the number of men
dying from the disease, this was a relatively small study and not
all the screening rounds used the PSA test*, which is the most
effective test we have at the moment to indicate prostate problems
that might be cancer.
"We know from another larger study that screening using the PSA
test can reduce mortality rates. However, this previous trial
showed that screening can lead to many men undergoing unnecessary
treatment for a harmless prostate cancer. The Prostate Cancer
Charity therefore doesn't believe there is enough evidence yet to
support a screening programme.
"We know that only two thirds of men over 50 know about the PSA
test, so our Testing Choices campaign calls for better
information for all men over 50 about the PSA test and its pros and
cons, so they can decide whether or not it is right for them."
*The PSA test is a blood test that can indicate problems with
the prostate that might be cancer.